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Questions and Answers

These are questions and answers from 2012 and before. We have room on this archive site to publish some our old information. I think it might be helpful.

3Oct12 Message: I would like to know how many cp 23's have been built to date. I have a 2003 and its hull number 637. Thanks for all the help you give to us compac owners.

Answer: We have a new 23 coming in November. It is hull number 655. Most builders start at 100 and work forward.

28Sep12 Message: Hello again. Thanks for your comments on my Suncat search. In your DIY section you've complimented Don Nemetz's work on a jib for the Suncat. In an Answer a while back, you mentioned you can install a bowsprit, jib and running rigging for about $4,000. Can you elaborate more on the details? How is the bowsprit designed? Is the anchor still mounted on the bow? What type/size do you envision the jib? Is it hanked-on or on a roller-furler? How and where are you mounting the running rigging? It's very interesting. Thanks.

Answer: Custom work is always a work in progress. Details are not available. Com-Pac has an anchor roller that will work as a short bowsprit. You may be able to mount an anchor and a jib at the same time. Furling or a hanked-on sail would work the same way. Don Nemetz's made a good example to follow if you need more Sun Cat sail power. Changing your boat to make it sail better is what sailors do. Adding sail power in front of the CLR is the best place to add power on most sailboats.

28Sep12 Message: I recently purchased a CP27/2 that I am considering replacing the sails on. Today I sail on a lake and will be sailing in the Gulf in a couple years. What type of sails and weight would you recommend? Thank you for your information on ComPac sailboats.

Answer: I let sail makers figure the correct weight for individual sails. In the old days, the 27 came with a jib and a main with one reef. Most of us purchased a 155% genoa and had one additional reef added to the main. This really worked well for summer and winter. I have sailed on the wind in 50 knots with the main alone using the first reef. The first reef is the reef that I added between the foot and the factory reef. I tried the second reef and didn't have enough power to point in that wind. I really like and buy most of my sails from them. They know Com-Pac sails.

27Sep12 Message: Please explain the forward mast rake for the ComPac 16. I have read that the rake should be 3 to 5 degrees forward of vertical. When I do the math using a mast length of 17.5 feet, 3 degrres comes to 10.9 inches and 5 degrees comes to 18.3 inches. In other words a plumb line from the masthead to the the base of the mast would settle 18 inches forward for 5 degrees. This seems unreasonable, so I request an explanation of the correct distance forward and how to get it without too much pressure on the tabernacle and standing rigging. If you have answered this before, just give an approximate date and I will look it up. Thanks for your web site.

Answer: Mast rake needs to be adjustable and it can be. Lets start at one end and move to the other end. I'm sailing with a large friend (and I'm a large person) and I notice that we have weather helm. I'm forcing the boat to sail in a straight line with the tiller. Weather helm can be measured as follows: one finger on the tiller, one hand on the tiller, two hands on the tiller and a bend in the tiller when using both hands. The first two will work well and the last two are stopping the boat with tiller drag. If I move the mast static rake forward, I will reduce the weather helm with two large people in the cockpit. Looking at the boat on the trailer, the mast needs to be raked forward. That's because when we put two people in the cockpit, the boat will be lower at the stern and then the mast will be straight up and down. Sometimes when I want a little less helm (weather helm), I move my rearend forward in the cockpit and that moves the center of effort forward and I will have less helm. The bottom line is to adjust mast rake on the trailer and check it on the water to see if it's correct.

24Sep12 Message: I have removed the stanchions,bowrail and sternrail to solve a few leak issues. Upon removing the stanchions I noticed washers being used on the outer two holes. Should I do this again when I re-bed the equipment. Thanks for your assistance

Answer: The washers are there to make the stanchions stand vertical. Leave them out and the stanchions will lean a little to the outside.

17Sep12 Message: Starting a search for a used Suncat. There seem to be quite a few available via Internet listings. I am sure the Suncat has evolved over the years it has been built. Are they all about the same? Should I be looking for a boat built after 20XX? Asking prices seem to be relatively high compared to other used trailerables. I see Suncats that have been listed for a year or two and are still for sale. Any thoughts on what's reasonable to pay? And one completely unrelated question: What's the story on the 1998 Com-Pac 16 you have listed in used boats? It's the only one without a link to more info :-( Thanks!!

Answer: I can't remember when the Sun Cats were modified, but a newer boat is better than an older boat. It has had centerboard, deck gel-coat color, interior and mast modifications over the years. A boat that's been for sale on the Web for 2 years may not really be there. People sometimes don't remove their boats from the Web when the boat is sold or no longer available. The price of used boats change with the times. We are currently working our way into fewer used boats and their prices will be higher. A good time to buy a used boat was 2008/2009. The owner of the 1998 Com-Pac 16 has changed his mind several times about selling his boat. It going to be on the market until October and then he plans on going sailing.

12Sep12 Message: Hello Keith, Thanks for this wonderful site. The other day you answered my question about mooring chocks on a Compac 19xl. You said "We normally do a mooring line between the standard anchor roller and stainless steel bail." I assume that means that you pull the mooring line through the anchor roller and then tie off to the cleat. Have I got that right? I'd like to keep an anchor on the bow so using bow chocks would be preferable for me as long as everything is strong enough to do that.

I intend to order a boarding ladder for my boat which is set up with catbird seats & a 2 piece pushpit. I assume that 1 ladder fits all. Is this something I can order through you?

Is there anywhere I can look on-line to see parts and accessories available for these boats? Lastly, I'd like to join CPANC. Can you send me info for establishing my password. Thanks Again.

Answer: Yes, you understand what I said correctly. I don't think the bow chocks will work for a mooring line. You can try and see if it works. The term "strong enough" can mean many things when it comes to mooring a boat.

You can order parts directly from Com-Pac. Matt at Com-Pac will send you the part and charge you for the part and transportation with a credit card. Ask Matt for a parts list when you talk to him.

We need your phone number for CPYANC membership. Send me your phone number and I will sign you up.

11Sep12 Message: I have a 1979 CP 16 updated to a mark 3 ,How does this compare to a Suncat Iam looking for something with a little more room. The Suncat I looked at has alot of water in the bilge and everthing inside is damp and mustie .Are the cabin side panels removeable along with the cabin head liner for cleaning?What about the plywood below deck? You have a great site and thank you for the time you put into it .

Answer: The Sun Cat has more room on the inside with more beam than a Com-Pac 16. Both boats sail about the same. The Sun Cat may be a little faster in most wind conditions. The Sun Cat side panels can be removed, but the headliner cannot. The only plywood inside a Sun Cat is the step and forward teak bulkhead. Both are not structural and can be replaced. A few early boats had plywood gas storage lockers.

10Sep12 Message: Hi, I just purchased a Compac 19xl. I want to keep the boat on a mooring but it does not have any bow chocks. Can I mount chocks on the edge of the anchor platform? Is the anchor platform strong enough to withstand the constant strain from this setup? Thanks for your help.

Answer: We normally do a mooring line between the standard anchor roller and stainless steel bail. Your 19 has/had standard chocks on the bowsprit used for mooring lines at a slip. Some people attach a second safety line to the bow trailer eye if they have long arms. The bowsprit is very strong and a little flexible. The bowsprits damage that we see is from contact with docks during storms.

29Aug12 Message: Hello, I stumbled across your article about how you converted a Compac 16 into a lobster boat. I see that you sell a complete boat but do you offer the kit, if I already have a Compac 16 hull? Namely the pilothouse and windows?

Answer: We sell the parts. UPS can ship the house panels and the windows. The molded fiberglass top has to be shipped by truck. The windows cost $1200 and the fiberglass top cost $1200 plus shipping.

29Aug12 Message: Repairing spider cracks and other fiberglass damage / cracks / holes - is bondo or epoxy the preferred material for the repair? Surface will be sanded smooth and then finished with a 2 part product to be determined - your thoughts are appreciated.

Answer: Everything below the waterline should be epoxy. Everything above the waterline that's cosmetic can use a filler material like Bondo. West Marine sells a good filler called Formula 27 Filler. We use that filler to fill cracks and holes and then finish the job using their Polyester Glazing Putty. That putty sands like gel-coat for a no visible line repair.

9Aug12 Message: First off, I love what you're doing for all the Com-Pac sailors out there! My boat, CP16-334, has the only starboard engine mount I've ever seen, P/O installed I'm sure, but noticed that's what Com-Pac offers now on the Legacy and Eclipse..Go figure..Anyway, love the Pilot-House 16! Would you consider selling plans for us handy types with tools and skills? Thanks

Answer: Thanks for the kind words. We will trace an outline of the house parts on paper for $200 plus shipping. The roof can be made from a piece of luan and glassed or we also have a molded glass top that we sell for $1200 plus shipping. Once the house sides are put together, you can put the house on the boat to mark the cut line for the hole in the boat. The stock windows for the house cost $1200 plus shipping or fixed windows can be made from Lexan. Email can be used to answer most building questions. Com-Pac still sells the Mark II teak interior in a kit form.

29Jul12 Message: The "cavity [in the rudder head] into which the [rudder] blade slides is way too wide for the tension handle to be of any use on my Sun Cat. If inserting a shim on either side of the blade is a viable solution, what would you recommend as a shim?

Answer: This is not a common problem and fixing the problem with a shim will be difficult. The friction between the parts is what keeps the rudder down. Adding a shim would reduce the overall friction that's possible. You could replace the worn or bad part or you could add a rudder-lifting handle made by Com-Pac. The handle secures the rudder in the up and down position. If you hit something with the rudder in the down position, the handle releases the rudder. Order the handle from the parts department at Com-Pac.

17Jul12 Message: I just bought a used Sun Cat. The peak halyard is not connected to the end of the gaff. How does this connect? Perhpas I am missing a part because there is just the end cap on the gaff? The mast stub track is worn at the top (boom gets hung up here on the way down) and the boom bracket (piece that slides in the mast) is very worn. Where can I purchase the boom bracket? Can I flip the mast stub or do I need to purchase a new stub? Thanks.

Answer: A good diagram of Sun Cat rigging is the picture that's on the front of the brochure. You can download the brochure off the Com-Pac Web site. The gaff end cap should have holes cast into that fitting. The one on the bottom is for the sail outhaul and the one on top is for the end of the gaff halyard. Boom parts can be purchased from Com-Pac by calling their part's department with a credit card. Their phone number is 727-443-4408. Reinstalling the hinge can be tricky if you flip the stub or get a new one. We use a piece of plywood in the grove connecting both pieces when we drill the holes for a new installation. The grove has to fit and the joint needs to be straight front to back and side to side. Not easy.

15Jun12 Message: where do i buy a bimini for my boat that fits

Answer: Call Com-Pac direct with a credit card. They will UPS a bimini that's cut in half with instructions on how to pop rivet it back together and how install it.

12Jun12 Message: The hook welded on to the mast slide to raise the throat broke at the weld when I tried to raise sale on the water. Do I need a replacement from Compac, or is there a "standard" replacement? I have seen a suggested suncat modification that uses a short loop of heavier line looped under the gaff end at the throat to attach a block an obtain a 2-1 leverage with the main halyard, like the peak halyard. Is that a potential problem? Otherwise my suncat is pretty reliable. Unfortunately there was no warning sign before the hook weld broke from the mast slide. Thanks for your help.

Answer: I think the problem was a welding problem and an easy way to get the right part is to get it from Com-Pac. Getting the sail up on a gaff rig can be a problem. I have found that it helps to keep the gaff pointed up (same position as it is in when sailing) during the raising process. If there is wind pressure on the sail, the drag at the slide can increase to a point where it stops sliding. I keep a short length of small line on my boats to temporarily replace broken connections between sails and spars.

11Jun12 Message: I'm changing the interior of our 19 and while at it, I've been contemplating removing the concrete from the keel and replacing it with lead shot and epoxy. This will free up space for a waste holding tank and other storage. I figure I'll have to add some glass to the keel. What are your thoughts/recommendations? Thanks in advance.

Answer: We had one 16 owner remove his concrete to provide battery storage. It didn't work because the keel needs the concrete support to get on and off the trailer. He had a glass failure. Your solution using lead and epoxy should work well if additional glass is added in the right area. I'm thinking the area would be between the new ballast and where the top the old ballast ended. The curved joint area between the keel and the hull is extra heavy. Good luck with the project.

7Jun12 Message: How involved/expensive is it to install a small diesel in a CP25 that came out of the factory with an outboard. Would I be better off shopping around for a boat thats been manufactured with a diesel.

Answer: I believe in modifying boats to meet the needs and location of their owners. We have had an owner install a diesel in his Com-Pac 25. Com-Pac has a mold for the engine bed and they also sell all the other parts and pieces that you will need for an installation. I think the reason Com-Pac stopped building the 25 is that the boat cost too much build. The difference in building cost between a 25 and a 27 wasn't that much. Finding another quality boat with standing headroom that goes on a trailer may be difficult. The little Beta Marine engine would be my choice of engines and my guess on current cost would be about $8K.

1Jun12 Message: Found huge amount of water under the setees; ended up drilling hole in stern and tilting up the trailer tongue about 4 feet to drain. Please advise another method to remove the water while I try to find the source of ingress. Thanks.

Answer: We tilt the bow up when we have water in a 16. We don't drill a hole in the stern, but dip the water out with a towel or sponge at the stern. The water under the bunk that doesn't drain well will come out as you trailer the boat over time. Elevate the bow now and then to make sure all the water is gone. The big leak on most 16s is the hatch slide screws. Remove one screw at a time, caulk the screw and replace.

31May12 Message: Rumor has it that you do pilothouse conversions on older CP 23's. Is this true and how do I go about discussing this with someone at your shop. Thanks

Answer: The rumor is correct. We are building our first 1985 CP-23T in the shop now. The T stands for trawler. So far we think the conversion is going to be cost effective and very useful for most couples that want to cruise. One feature is an outboard motor for power. This reduces the cost and works for most people doing short cruises in areas like the ICW. It also keeps the engine noise and heat outside the boat. The first boat is going to have a black hull and maybe air conditioning and heat. So much for keeping the cost down.

Email, phone or come by and see the boat in the shop. We like to talk boats. Something that we have noted building conversions over the years is that a sailing rig on a small boat conflicts with some of the comfort components of a trawler. We may do a pilothouse at some time, but maybe not. I think a pilothouse would need an inboard rudder to keep the outboard for power. That would be more cost.

You have an 85 CP-23 that was built by Dan Springer a long time ago. The boat is built like a tank and is really well made. We see the quality when we cut the deck.

30May12 Message: The ring on the top of my Barlow Austrailia 15 winch broke off and went overboard. I have looked on several consignment sites to no avail for that size Barlow. Any suggestions?

Answer: There isn't a good way to repair the Barlow winches. The man made material at the top fails from being in the sun too long. A good reason to use winch covers. We have been replacing the Barlow’s with Forespar Marelon Winches. They are inexpensive and West Marine sells them. Getting the old winch off is the hard part. They are installed with nuts and bolts and we normally have to cut the bolts. We install the new winches the easy way with 1/4-inch stainless screws .

9May12 Message: Will you be offering kits or plans for a pilot house 23? I think this will be a very popular conversion.

Answer: Maybe. The first conversion should be completed this fall. So far, the work on our first Com-Pac has been easy. Mostly removing sailboat parts that are not appropriate for a trawler. The deck has been cut (big hole) and we were surprised at the thickness and quality of construction. We have identified that we have room for 2 large seats and 1 jump seat in the main cabin that has 6 feet of standing headroom. I think this conversion may also be popular on other brands of sailboats. We are documenting our conversion in pictures.

We think a 23 pilothouse (sails) conversion would need a diesel for power. The trawler conversion can get by with an outboard motor installation at less cost.

5May12 Message: My recently purchased suncat has a water situation. After sailing 2 weeks ago, put back on the trailer, put under a shed. There is water accumlinating in the cavity where the centerboard bolt is located at a rate of about 1 cup every few hours. My boat is a 2001 model where the bolt is visible. I thought that water might be trapped within the centerboard jacket and leaking through the bolt hole. I loosened the bolt to view and it is not coming from there. Water is still gradually seeping into the cavity from between the metal jacket and the concrete. How do I fix it?

Answer: Water normally moves from the bilge to the area around the centerboard bolt on early Sun Cats. They are normally bow down on a trailer. Finding the source of the leak is the problem. It can be at the centerboard pennant. We put toilet paper around the pipe on the inside under the deck and see if gets wet after we go sailing. Another leak source is the gas hatch on the first 10 boats built. The hatch was made out of wood and the joints can leak. The water goes from the gas hatch to the bilge. The last place to look is the bottom of the centerboard. If the stainless centerboard box has been in the water for a long period of time without protection, it may need replacement. Look for missing screw heads and broken welds. Com-Pac can replace the centerboard box at the factory. After finding the source of the leak, we may be able to help you with a solution.

2May12 Message: Your web site is a great source of information. Do you have web links to DIY Projects and Questions and Answers from past years? Thanks very much.

Answer: We edit our Web site from time to time to reduce the space we use on our server. This limitation reduces the amount of published information available. Sorry.

2May12 Message: a question concerning the bulkhead - the teak partition between the sleeping area and the sitting area in the cabin - is this wall load bearing - can I remove and replace - thank you.

Answer: The Com-Pac 23 bulkhead between the cabins support the mast. It can be removed and replaced, but with great care.

1May12 Message: Can you retro a 1991 Compac II 16 with a new mastender system? If so, what would it cost?

Answer: We don't normally do Mastenders on 16s anymore. The boom tender system works better and cost less money to build. Every restoration for the last 2 years has had a stainless steel mast gallows. A very popular option that makes the boom tender system work well. Cost of restoration depends on the boat's condition. Round figures are about $3K including a painted hull.

We are currently building a Com-Pac 23 Trawler. The time it takes to restore a 16 isn't going to be available until next year.

18Apr12 Message: Keith - you have commented frequently on the ComPac 16 and 19, occasionally on the 23, but rarely on the 27. For those who may be in the market for a larger boat and don't need it to be trailerable, would you comment on the strengths/weaknesses of the 27?

Answer: It's just a matter of cost. Back in the 80s, a new 27 cost $36K and we sold 41 new boats. We even stocked one for several years. The cost is the reason why we don't sell many new 27s today. Bob Johnson of Island Packet designed the 27 and Art Marooney, a master carpenter made the plug for the 27. It took Art 1 year to make a perfect hull and deck plug for the 27. I called hull numbers 4, 50 and 100 my boat for a while. They are great boats and we sailed them everywhere in all kinds of weather. Richard Summers took his to the end of the ICW in Texas and I sailed with him to Key West. They are large boats for the length and they make great coastal boats. We can sail them off shore, but I wouldn't want to sail one across an ocean. A boat with less buoyancy in the ends would be my choice. The Kubota engines were wonderful and we didn't have any problems in any of our boats. Great boat.

14Apr12 Message: i have decided to add a port to the front of the cabin area to my com.pac - i would like to do in bronze to match my other 6 ports - do you think an old com.pac 16 or 19 round port would work? - i am leaning toward the smaller 16 - if you recommend this do you have a used 16 port i could purchase? thank you so much

Answer: Any of the round ports will work on a 23. 16 ports are cheap, but they don't open. We have used 16 ports in stock and we also have used 23 ports in stock that do open. Call us for a price.

13Apr12 Message: Keith, I am planning on attending the sailing event May 11/12. I would like a slip for Sat night. Do I need to contact the marina in advance or are slips on first come basis? Thanks

Answer: The marina will be expecting us. I plan on giving them a boat count about a week before the event. See you there.

9Apr12 Message: I recently bought a 1973 Luger Leeward Sailboat. Do you know where I could find a manual for this boat?

Answer: The Luger was a kit boat sold in the 70s. Maybe someone that reads this site may have a copy. Send me an email if you have an old manual.

6Apr12 Message: I would like to be able to get my Suncat in the garage. By lowering the tongue it goes in good except for the boom support in the stern. I read on your web site how to cut the vertical tubing on the support and place two smaller pipes inside to make a sleeve configuration that can be removed. Can you send me these two small pipes. If so let me know the cost and I will send a check to you. thanks very much.

Answer: Com-Pac uses a brand of stainless steel tubing that has a ridge on the inside. The ridge is part of the tube building process. The 7/8-inch tube that you put inside your boom gallows needs to have this ridge removed. We use a special tool to remove this ridge on their tubing. You can use a 7/8-inch drill bit and a file to do the same thing. West Marine sells stainless steel tubing. Buying it at your local store may be less expensive than having it shipped.

2Apr12 Message: interested in the outing on May 11th, how do you join the CPYANC and what marina is it at.

Answer: You have to be a Com-Pac Yacht owner and then email me your name, address with zip code and your phone number. We use phone numbers as passwords. The Outing will be at Fair Feild Harbor that's just outside New Bern, NC on the Neuse River.

29Mar12 Message: We are interested in purchasing a Com-Pac 25 to trailer to different lakes that we like. I have heard that you may have a mast raising system for the CP25, but I can't seem to locate it on the website. Can you let me know if it exists and provide more information if it does? Thanks!

Answer: We never did a CP 25, but we talked about doing one. The current tabernacle is strong and will work as a pivot. A mast gallows will need to be attached to the stern pulpit to get the mast up as high as possible. A stainless "A" frame is required to raise the forestay higher than the mast. Attach the forestay to the "A" frame and use the trailer winch to raise the mast. We did this with a CP 23 that had furling. The owner's wife could raise the mast with the trailer winch by herself.

20Mar12 Message: I would like to join the Com Pac Club shown on your website. How do I go about doing so? Our 2008 Suncat has been a joy to sail and I have thoroughly enjoyed the information you share on your website. Also, I have several questions:
1. When do you anticipate beginning work on your Pilothouse 23. I love the new design but won't ever be able to afford $70,000 for one from the factory.
2. I bought a small storm jib from the used boat supply shop in Oriental and tested it on our Suncat and it seems to really improve the performance. Now I need to mount a halyard pulley on the mast. How would you recommend attaching it?
3. Do you have a cockpit grate on hand for the Suncat and , if so, what is the cost?
Thanks for the tremendous service you are providing for all of us who seek to continually inprove our boats and the sport of sailing .

Answer: We have ordered the first set of windows for our CP 23 Trawler. That boat is spoken for and should be finished in the fall. I think I would connect a block to a bail on the mast. The bail that we use the most is an RF 180 that can be purchased from West Marine. A Sun Cat grate cost $572 plus shipping from Com-Pac. You can order direct by calling Gerry with a credit card. We will send you an email with your Club information. Thanks for the kind words.

15Mar12 Message: Been looking for a used Sun Cat. Wondering about the Hermann. Can you provide pictures of the Hermann and specs? Do you know of any used white on white Sun Cats in the SC/NC area? (Maybe one of your customers who might be on the fence regarding selling theirs.) In central SC I need white hull and decks due to solar effects. Also what would your price be for a new Sun Cat with Trailer + modified to cockpit traveler and mid-book sheeting like the originals?

Answer: I'm sending a picture of our Hermann to you via email. I will also include a Sun Cat price list. We offer all new boats and accessories at a 10% discount. The factory will move the mainsheet for you at a small or no cost. The Hermann has a displacement of 2500 pounds and is 17 feet long. It's has a light centerboard with ballast in the keel. This boat will have a Horizon Cat mast, sail and mast gallows. It has 2 bunks, sink, stove and an ice chest.

Used Sun Cats are hard to find. An off white deck are late model boats. The darker tan gel-coat was on the early boats.

6Mar12 Message: dont have anywhere to sailaround here was woundering about converting boat to a small gas motor and if i do so will i still have to use the keel or an it come off

Answer: A Venture 21 will work both ways. The keels 400 pounds will make the boat more stable even in the up position.

5Mar12 Message: 1. Looking to start using a whisker pole again with my 150 Gen ( dropped last one overboard & sunk before being able to turnaround & retrieve). Was wondering for Pro's & Con's of sail-end fitting being either a spike to go into clew or the clasp type to go over the sheet??

2. Gelcoat area around the mast step has severely cracked over the years. Have popped some of it out. No apparent structural damage / deterioration underneath gelcoat popped area. What is best way to repair this several square inch area. Thanks

Answer: Both types of fittings will work. I like the spike configuration the best.

Some Mark I Com-Pac 19s have deck voids around the mast that need to be filled. Before I repaired the gel-coat, I would fill the soft spots in that area. Put your foot on the area and press down. If it moves, it needs to be filled. There is a gap between the deck and the inside liner. Flexing in that area causes the gel-coat problem. A compression post under the mast supports the mast and that area is not a problem. After you make the deck hard, I would repair the gel-coat.

5Mar12 Message: I've been looking at the photos and videos of the horizon cat and have several questions. I noticed that their are two lines on the starboard side and two lines on the port side going back to the cockpit. The starboard side lines are the halyards for the gaff and the throat, but I'm unsure what the lines do on the port side. This raises the questions on how do you reef the sail or for that matter how do you douse the sail? It would seem like you need a topping lift to prevent the boom from coming down on you and also a reef line should be available and rigged to preclude having to go to the mast to put the reef tack in the gooseneck. Thanks for any clarification. Also are there sail slugs in the gaff sail to aid in raising and lowering sail or is it a bolt rope? Is the foot of that sail loose footed and is there a outhaul on a gaff sail?

Answer: The port sidelines are a downhaul line and a mast raising line. You use a pole with the mast raising line to raise the mast from the cockpit. You can raise the mast by hand by standing next to the mast at the hinge. The sail uses jiffy reefing with a tack hook and an aft reefing line. A topping lift is fixed to the top of the mast and the end of the boom and then to a cleat. There are slugs on the sail for the main mast slot (between the tack and the throat). The sail uses a boltrope on the gaff and the boom. The Horizon Cat does not use a loose-footed sail. The sail has outhauls for both the gaff and the main boom.

3Mar12 Message: I read the story in the Small Craft Advisory. Fascinating! But it gave no dimensions for the boat, size of Diesel installed, tankage, or cost of the boat following the mods. Any info on that would be helpful. You have a couple boats now "in process" on your listings page with no data other than expected availability and estimated cost. These are:

1962 O'Day Mariner, Trailer, Diesel, Trawler Conversion, Available 6/2012 Est $12K

1983 Sea Ray 25, Trailer, Diesel, Trawler Conversion, Available 6/2012 Est $12K

Any additional details, specs, photos would be very helpful.

I'm looking for something similar to your conversion in the article, 28-33 in length (as is or modified as per article), at least semi-trailerable. More motor than sailer.

Answer: I really like ballast in my boats. Most of our conversions are built on a sailboat chassis because most sailboats have ballast. The boat in the SCA article started off life as a new Com-Pac Sun Cat sailboat that's 17 feet long and 1500 pounds. She is currently 20 feet long and has a 1GM10 Yanmar engine. I have added a modest sailing rig in the cockpit. The mast tender rig folds and the rig has a gaff sail. My plan was to have a ballasted boat that I could sail when I wanted to sail, yet travel on the road or on the water when I wanted that capability. I think our 20-foot boat is a minimum boat for what I wanted. At the other end of the trailerable range is the Com-Pac 23 Pilothouse. It is a new boat with a new boat price. A custom Com-Pac 23 Pilothouse built on a used 23 should cost about half the price of a new boat. We hope to build a Com-Pac 23 Trawler with a cockpit sailing rig sometime soon. I think the used boat that's going to be converted should be here next week.

The boats that are waiting to be restored and converted are available to customers that want to pay a deposit and wait to have their boats built. We may put a priority on the O'Day this summer if we have time. The O'Day is currently going to have a used diesel engine, remote steering and its hull converted to self-bailing. The ballast is going to be concrete. We may paint that boat red and with a trawler top, it's going to have standing headroom. No sailing rig for the O'Day.

When you are building custom boats, anything is possible within the limits of money and time.

2Mar12 Message: Hi Sir. Mailed you before. Thanks in advance. My Slipper seems like it could plane if I fitted a 50ish HP motor on the back turning her into a motorsailer. If a guy engineered the transom properly, think the boat would plane and be stable enough to be safe. Bottom seems flat. 19" Bilge Keel. Centre board encapsulated inside and dormant. Here's an easy motormount but maybe a floatation type mount (with deck) would work and a large space for stock rudder to remain? Cheers & Thanks

Answer: I have been talking to several Seaward owners about a pilothouse conversion. The Fox and Slipper should be great boats for a conversion. They are wide and they need more interior room. I put a 40hp on a Com-Pac 16 and it didn't plane. The keel may kill that possibility on the Slipper unless the engine is really big and that's not very efficient.

27Feb12 Message: Cost to convert to pilothouse 16 with steering to rt as shown.

Answer: A pilothouse on a CP16 cost $6500. Remote steering with a wheel and console cost $2400. Mast and sail modifications with a stainless mast gallows cost another $1600. This basic conversion cost $10,500. Several other options are available for the pilothouse at additional cost.

26Feb12 Message: Keith, how did you rig the mainsheet control on your Pilot House CP16? If we end up with a PH M15 this would certainly get the mainsheet out of the way. I would like to have this system on our boat now, is there a way to order one from you? Also, do you shorten the mast and cut the sails down in order to lower the mast for trailering? Or do you leave the sailplan alone, and disconnect the mastender hinge and run the mast forward for trailering?

Answer: The mainsheet on the CP16 Pilothouse goes from the end of the boom to the transom. This type of sheeting or the mid boom type of sheeting uses the same general hardware and they do the same thing on small boats. When you change the attachment points, the connection between those points may also change. When we change the mainsheet configuration for a customer, we use as much of the old system as possible and then determine what additional parts are needed . Some consideration for transom sheeting is does the mainsheet slope between the transom and the boom take-up too much room in the cockpit (hits your back)? If the mainsheet has to work with a bimini, can they work together? Any additional hardware needed for this modifications can be ordered from West Marine.

The mast tender system hardware is custom built by Com-Pac. They use Dwyer masts and Com-Pac makes a hinge that will fit most of those masts and some other mast. When we do a custom installation on a different brand of sailboat, we cut the stock mast and install a hinge. We also make the bottom part of the mast (the stub) rigid below the hinge. The mast will then fold back into a mast gallows. The length of the mast determines whether the mast is discounted and moved for transport or not. The CP16 Pilothouse stock mast length is short enough that we do not have to disconnect it for trailing. Cutting the mast and installing the hinge is best done by an experienced shop.

The only time we shorten a sail is when we install a pilothouse on a sailboat. We like to use stock items on a boat to reduce cost. Com-Pac did that with their Pilothouse 23 and we also did that with our Pilothouse 16.

24Feb12 Message: we got ourselves a small 16 foot sail boat. and have used it last season on lakes. And are thiking of trying it on the Long Island sound this comming season . what kind of gps and marine rado would you recomand. We do not have one now.

Answer: Cell phones have replaced the marine VHF radio for most coastal sailing purposes. Make sure you have a list of appropriate phone numbers for your area. I like the small handheld Garmin GPS with a marine map. West Marine can help you pick out a GPS that has a marine map of your area.

22Feb12 Message: I thinking about the performance difference in 20 ft gaff rigged cat boat vs a typical sloop rig. Having never sailed a cat how does it compare to the sloop in various points of sail and ease of reefing singlehanded? Thanks. Any polar diagrams?

Answer: Catboats sail about as well as sloops if everything else is equal. A catboat doesn't have the slot between the jib and main, but they normally have a little more sail area that does about the same thing for pointing and power. The gaff is an automatic reefing device. The gaff falls off in big winds and dumps the wind in the top of the sail. Reducing power at the top of a sail reduces heel. Sorry, no polar diagrams.

20Feb12 Message: Considering the pilot house for our Montgomery 15, how is the mainsheet arranged? I am assuming since there would be boom gallows, a similar maisheet like found on the Legacy would work? Or using a Barney Post arrangement in order to relocate the mainsheet aft of the pilot house, yet still retain mid-boom sheeting? Would the jib sheets c be relocated to the side decks with the clutch cleats installed on the cockpit coaming? Early thanks for your time

Answer: Making a pilothouse work on a small sailboat takes lots of measurements. Our Com-Pac 16 Pilothouse is a good example. The running rigging stayed the same for this design, but might change to something like the running rigging on the 16 with other brands of sailboats. We added a mast tender hinge to the mast and an aft facing stainless steel handle on the house to keep the boom off the house. Com-Pac did something similar with their Pilothouse 23. The 16 will live on a trailer and most 23s will stay in the water most of the time. These considerations and cost determine rigging design.

19Feb12 Message: I have a 2004 Horizon Cat that I mostly sail on Lake Norman but looking forward to some trips to the coast and florida keys. My sail only has one set of reef points and I have noted on some of the videos that the sails have 2 reef points. Would like your opinion on having 2 reef points and if so do you have a reference for somewher I could send the sails to have a second reef point added. Enjoy your great website and check it daily. Appreciate all your help.

Answer: You may never need the second reef point, but it’s nice to have one if you travel with your boat. I remember one time when my Com-Pac 27 diesel stopped after putting the boat on her side. Diesels don't run well with air in the system. I had to sail upwind in 50 knots of wind so I used the second reef in the main without a headsail. The second reef didn't have enough power to tack the boat. I then tried the first reef and it was just the right amount. I like a second reef point that's available and maybe even more so on a Horizon Cat.

We use Super Sail makers for sails. They are OLD Com-Pac sail makers that have good prices and do good work. Their Web site is Talk to them and get a quote before you ship your sail.

17Feb12 Message: Following your CP16 Pilot House conversion, if we did the same to our M15, it would essentially entail installing a pilot house, installing a tabernacle for the mast, installing boom gallows to hold the mast, installing a bench seat over the bridge deck and installing a canvas enclosure(maybe with noseeum)to secure the pilot house. I would imagine you would need to remove the centerboard and fill it in with a plug. This is where the cockpit drain is located, so something would need to be done to accomodate the drain(possibly leave an opening at the rear of the keel/centerboard cavity, or installing a PVC pipe with the drain coming out of the rear of the keel). This might facilitate the cockpit drain and eliminate water coming up through the drain as it now can if there is too much weight in the stern. I'm thinking we could replace the Honda 2hp long shaft motor with a 4hp, like the Tohatsu. These motors have external fuel tanks and can be fitted with a charging system, and have F-N-R gearing. The extra power would be good for weathering head winds/seas, but other wise would not be run much over 1/2 throttle to attain hull speed of approximately 5 to 6 mph. I'm curious what this conversion would cost. We would pay separately for a different motor, or possibly work a deal to trade it in for a motor from you. I seriously believe converting our M15 to a trawler is an option that would best work for us. The pilot house would provide standing headroom in the cabin, better protection and room for another couple to join us. We could still cruise and sleep aboard as we now do, but I think it would be much more comfortable. By keeping the tiller/rudder configuration as it is, upping the engine hp and leaving the boarding ladder in place makes sense. We might add a bimini top extension for the cockpit also. I'm also curious what we could expect to get for the mast and sails. Early thanks for your time, and finding you! I think you're providing a fantastic option for folks who like their boats, but other wise would have to sell them and look for something suitable.

Answer: A basic trawler house cost $6500.00 installed. The conversion includes canvas, windows, a bridge deck cushion and an overhead hatch. Removing the centerboard would cost more, but it would be reasonable. I'm sure you would have more cabin space without the centerboard. Keeping the sailing rig would also cost more. A mast modification with a gallows might cost $2000.00 and you would have to keep your centerboard. Between the trawler and the pilothouse configurations, the pilothouse cost more and has less usable room. A used mast, boom and sails are worth about $200. They would be worth more if you sell them yourself through Craigslist or EBay.

16Feb12 Message: The Photos i am looking for is Photos of the inside of the compass 14 if that is not possible let me know...

Answer: I emailed an inside picture to you on the 12th. I noticed that you do not appear to receive my emails. I talked to you last year about a mast gallows for one of your boats. You may not have received that email because I didn't get an answer. My emails may be going to SPAM?

15Feb12 Message: Reading SCA about your Sun Cat trawler is a great idea. I would be interested to know if we could do the same with our M15? There would be no need to extend the hull. Cutting the cabin top off just below the edge to include the existing sliding hatch, widening the companionway opening to coincide with the cabin sidewalls, using the exisitng forward cabin angle as a reference and moving the cut-off section aft from the mast partner, then installing sides and front walls to raise the top section. The rear of the pilot house could be solid with an offset door(so it could be opened to one side and held in place when desired or closed and locked. Forward windows(solid), sliding windows on each side, and a window in the door. Raising this part of the cabin approximately 16 inches, adding a traveler on the top, running the remaining halyards to the cockpit, possibly fitting a tabernacle for the mast might work? We would still use the existing tiller for steering and a small outboard for power(might go from our 2hp Honda to 4hp). This would provide more headroom and protection, but leave everything else basically the same. Of course, if we eliminated the sail completely and rasied the entire cabin top, this might be our only option without lengthening the hull. I'd like to get your thoughts on this idea. Being retired, I'm thinking we could certainly make this modification to our M15 for less money than buying a larger cabin cruiser. Early thanks for your time...

Answer: I think I would use the Com-Pac 16 pilothouse configuration. It is less complicated and it will look great on the M15. Making the existing top look good would be more difficult. As the cut-off top goes up in height, the house sides get more vertical. I would modify a computer line drawing of the M15 and see what the boat's going to look like using both modifications. When I do a modification, I keep in mind that if it looks good and works well, the boat is going to be worth more money when it time to sell.

I really like the canvas cover over the aft house wall. It can't be locked, but the view through the boat and the forward windows makes sailing or motoring from the cockpit workable. The Com-Pac 23 PH house has solid aft walls and they steer from a helm position inside the boat. A tiller requires the helm’s person stand up or use catbird seats. You need to be in the cockpit if you are docking a PH by yourself. I think we need all the inside air we can get when we live in the south. Gerry at Com-Pac was concerned about locking the house and I'm more concerned about visibility and ventilation.

The Com-Pac mast hinge should work on your mast. Add a hinge and raising the mast will be easy. You also need a mast gallows to carry the mast in the down position. If you make a trawler, you can put the motor in the middle of the transom and remote the steering and motor controls inside the house.

11Feb12 Message: Still looking for the photos can you direct me to them the ones ofthe compass 14 Thanks again

Answer: Click the name of the boat on my Web site's Used Boats list. That will give you a picture and a description of the boat.

10Feb12 Message: I know its cold out side but do you have any photos of the Compas 14 you have listed, is the trailer ready to travel,what color is the sail and how much stain is on it,is the boat glass or wood, what work needs to be done on it. i am very intrested what is the bottom line price. thanks

Answer: I just posted a picture on the Web site. The trailer is a late model in good condition. I think the bunks need some adjustment to fit the boat better. The sail is white and I think the stains may be dirt. The bad spot is on the clew that may not have been covered by the sail cover. The boat is glass with wood trim. The only work on the boat that needs to be done is new varnish on some wood components. The bottom price on this boat is $3500.

8Feb12 Message: I have a sanibel 17 that I am seriously considering converting to a mini trawler. I wanted to get some idea of the conversion cost estimates. I might consider a diesel but I was think of hanging a Honda 9 on her stern. I love this boat but I am getting up in the yrs and jerking sails is getting to be work. Any info you could give me would be appreciated and dI would consider having you do the work.

Answer: The approximate price of our economy mini trawler conversion is $10K. This conversion has a house, windows, top hatch, canvas, seats, an inside wheel and outboard motor controls.

7Feb12 Message: I wrote to ComPac with a few specific questions as well as asking for the name of a good dealer to buy a 27 from. Mr Hutchins answered my questions and he gave me your name as a dealer. However, I do not see any used 27's available on your lists. Do you have a relatively late model ComPac 27 available? My max budget is around $35,000-40,000. Thank you.

Answer: We sold 41 new 27s through the years and some used ones become available now and then. The last time we had a use boat on our yard was 2 years ago. The best way to find a used 27 is to search the Web using Google.

1Feb12 Message: Greetings, how much for the remaining compac sixteen pilothouse conversion kit ? Thanks

Answer: The Pilothouse conversion kit has 3 major components. They are the fiberglass top, cost $1200. Precut house panels, cost $600, and windows cost $1500. Shipping is extra. The top and house panels need to be shipped by truck. UPS can ship the windows. We have a top and house panels in stock. Windows take 4 to 6 weeks to obtain from CA.

30Jan12 Message: How would the compact legacy perform on the Chesapeake bay's short waves? Is she self righting? Is there performance improvements on the legacy over the old compac16?

Answer: The short waves on the Chesapeake are similar to the coastal conditions in FL and other east coast states. All little boats have a short wave problem if the waves are high enough. They can't get their speed up between the waves to get through the next wave. I think a heavy little boat will do better than a light little boat. I remember not being able to get my CP-16 through 3-foot short waves that were on the nose in the Neuse River. I had all the speed I needed going down the trough between the waves.

The Legacy is self-righting.

The Legacy has the same sailing performance as the old CP 16, but an experienced sailor can get lots of performance from a 16. A light centerboard boat will out sail a 16 in light air. If you never have whitecaps on your water, the light boat will work just fine. The CP 16 is a happy boat in 18 knots of wind and the wind was blowing 35 knots when I had those 3-foot waves above.

27Jan12 Message: We have a racing sailboat that was given to us by a grieving father. It belonged to his son. All he knows is that it is a racing sailboat and very expensive. The only thing we have on the boat are some #'s: TSP25155M83G & NC3484AY. How do we get info on this boat?

Answer: The boat was made by TPI Composites, Inc., Warren, RI. Coast Guard Hull Identification numbers are posted on the Internet. The builder's hull code is TSP and it was built in 1983. Call North Carolina Wifelife for registration data and the current owner's name. They have it recorded with the NC number.

18Jan12 Message: can i buy a pattern on paper that would show me how to convert a 16 to a trawler only need the top conversion, I would like to build one out of Ply wood as a test mockup first. Thanks

Answer: We don't have a way to a make paper patterns (cost and time). We have had sailors come by our shop and make their own patterns on rolls of paper. We do have a resident trawler that can be used for that purpose. Sorry.

16Jan12 Message: Hi, A really impressive site/work/knowledge and I'll probably become a customer of your business as I will move to coastal eastern NC this year. Question: What's your opinion on the Compac Sun Cat vs. the Horizon Cat in your coastal waters?

Answer: Thanks for the kind words. Com-Pacs are built in Clearwater, FL and their coastal areas are similar to NC waters. Most sailboats are territorial and designed for the areas where they are produced. Both catboats work well here and are priced lower than catboats built in other parts of this country. The Sun Cat is more portable (trailers well) and the Horizon Cat may be a better boat for a slip. Both boats can do both.

15Jan12 Message: Do you think performance on your CP-16 Pilothouse would be improved: 1) if the boat had the 11" bowsprit that was added to the CP-16/2 to reduce the weather helm of the CP-16/1; and 2) if a Sun Cat mast was used for the additional height to avoid removing 12" of the mainsail foot in an already under-canvassed boat? I realize this is all hypothetical, but I'm very interested in your opinion. Thanks.

Answer: I published a DIY Project yesterday on this Web site where I talked about sailing performance and a Sun Cat's sail plan. If we had modified a CP-16/2, it would have had a bowsprit. Adding mast height would have been easy. We used a 16 mast from Dwyer as a mast stub because they can ship a 6 foot length UPS. The standard mast would have been 2 feet higher had we not cut the mast to make it into a standard length. Had we used a taller mast, it would have extended some distance behind the boat in the folded position. I tried to avoid the Eclipse mast tender method where you disconnect the mast from the hinge for trailering.

Had the boat been built for lake sailing, a taller mast would have been desirable. The CP-16/1 that we just raced on the New River (click CP-16 race on the left) pointed well and had good speed in light wind. Like everything else, getting good with a 16 takes time. I think the amount of power you get from the bottom 12 inches of a mainsail is small. Changing the size of the jib or genoa can change the total amount of sail area. We hope to race the Pilothouse against a standard boat in the spring. We have a new race course that starts at our slip in Jacksonville. It going to be fun.

If I remember correctly, the only boat that needed the bowsprit for weather helm purposes was the CP-23. The other boats in the line got the bowsprit as a cosmetic upgrade.

15Jan12 Message: hello and sorry for my very bad englisch. Can you send me more pictures and more informationes about this compac 19. Has this boat some troubles?

Answer: Your English works about as good as mine. You did good. I will send you more pictures by return email. Our used Com-Pac 19 has never had any troubles. The boat could be sold and shipped without the trailer. The trailer may not be legal in Germany.

9Jan12 Message: Where can I find an elastration or description of the handy splice system, that I can use to raze my mast gallows? Thank-you for your consideration.

Answer: I use Com-Pac brochures to identify hardware capabilities. You can download brochures from their Web site. You live close to the factory and I think I would stop by and see them. They enjoy talking to owners.

6Jan12 Message: Hi! Does it possible visit you company? I won see & discuss diesel modification. Thanks

Answer: Come anytime. We live next door to the business. A map is on our Web site. Give us a call at 910 324 4005 before you come.

6Jan12 Message: Is there a price list available for the Pilothouse 23 with options, etc. Thank you.

Answer: We will send you a price list by return email. We offer a 10% discount off new boats with options.

29Dec11 Message: Cockpit drain(s) leaking. How to repair/replace? How are they installed? Attached?

Answer: The cockpit drains are PVC pipes on the Com-Pac 23, Mark III. When the deck is upside down at the factory, the drains are glassed to sockets in the cockpit floor. As the deck is attached to the hull, the pipes project through precut holes in the transom. This transom connection point has changed through the years. Access to this point is difficult to reach when the deck is attached. If your boat has drain covers on the transom, the covers seal this connection point. Most leaks can be identified by water tracks on the inside of the transom. We have installed an access port on the vertical surface of the gas tank space to access this area. You need to identify the leak source and only repair that problem. An access port makes working on the drains possible from the cockpit and new drain covers can be installed on boats with or without the original drain cover installation.

26Dec11 Message: I have recently purchased a new Picnic Cat and find myself in a difficult situation. My wife age 72 is physically fit but is showing symptoms of dementia and she is afraid of sailing. I do sail alone and with my son at times. My wife is O.K. with motor boating. Can the BoomTendrâ"˘ Quick-Rig system be situated 2 feet higher on the mast so that there is more head room in the cockpit when launching and getting quickly under way, like a small motor sailor with the mast down on the gallows? Thank-you for your consideration.

Answer: I think I would make it 18 inches taller and add another higher hinge to the mast. Have the sail reduced at the foot by the above amount and raise the mast gallows with our handy splice system. I think adding a hinge will be cheaper than changing the mast stub. Either solution will work. Leave the original hinge in the closed position during mast raising and lowering.

21Dec11 Message: Saw your "answers" posting this morning concerning your trawler house instructions being available by email. Could I possibly get a look at the instructions and some prices for the parts? Also do you have the dimensions of the house for your CP16?

Answer: Example of Building Instructions For Trawler Construction: The house sides are made from a 4X8 sheet of COOSA (fiberglass and foam). Glassed 1/2-inch plywood could be an acceptable alternate material. Paper patterns are used to layout the sides (sides are pre-cut if purchased as a kit). Cut the sides out and stand them up on the boat's deck. Attach them together using tape. Check for a good position on the deck. The aft edge of the house needs to be behind the aft edge of the current cabin. Some non-Com-Pac 16s may have handles or other obstructions on the deck. Conduct email conversation with The Sailboat Company at this time. Mark the deck on the inside edge of the house with a magic marker. Cut the deck hole for the house with a saw. Install the house over the boat's deck using tape. When the house is in position, glass the inside edges of the house using fiberglass tape and resin. When the inside edges are glassed, the panels will be rigid. The next step is to glass the house to the boat using the same fiberglass tape. Mount the top to the house sides and check for a good fit. Conduct email conversation with The Sailboat Company at this time.

End Example.

The house top is a fiberglass laminate made in a mold. The Com-Pac 16 house base dimensions are 55 inches wide by 49 inches front to back. Most installations will finish the house and the top using gel-coat to match the boat. Spraying gel-coat is easy, but getting it to shine after spraying is the hard part. Most older boats have a dull gel-coat finish and this can be matched without to much work. There are several ways to do windows. Some very nice and others, not so nice. Less money for the not so nice. The inside can be painted or have panels installed. The steering and remote controls for the motor are standard installations. A motor installation has been designed for the Com-Pac 16 and will work with most sailboats. A long shaft, electric start motor that can use remote controls is desirable. Price examples for parts are a white gel-coated top cost $1200 plus shipping. Precut house panels cost $700 plus shipping and a set of 4 windows with 2 sliding cost $1500 plus shipping.

20Dec11 Message: Would like to convert my cp16 into your CP 16 Trawler. Is there a kit?....plans?...a finished kit. and all one has to do is install via instructions? Thank you for any info you can forward....

Answer: We sell the finished boat and also the parts for home construction. A trawler modification has 3 major groups. Group 1 is the house top including a hatch. It can be shipped by truck. Group 2 is the house sides and windows. The sides are made from foam and fiberglass panels. Group 3 is accessories. The accessories are the motor mount, inside steering system, canvas and the stainless steel handles. Groups 2 and 3 can be shipped by UPS. The finishing materials can be purchased anywhere. They include glass, resin, fillers and paint.

The instructions for home construction are done via email. We help you build your boat step by step. One of the most inexpensive options is to have us install a house on your boat and you do your own finish work.

We also take Com-Pac 16s as trade-ins on finished boats.

15Dec11 Message: Where Have you been? I look forward to your Updates!

Answer: I haven't had many questions during the holidays and we have been busy with sales for the last few months. 2011 was a big year for restored Com-Pac 16s and business looks good through early 2012. We are going to help the New Bern NROTC sailing program and we will report our progress when they start sailing in March. I think you are going to see 3 boats sailing at the same time on your computer. Our modified Com-Pac Sun Cat Trawler should be in the next Small Craft Advisor. The magazine pictures don't show the current cockpit sail configuration. We will report on its sailing capabilities when we have more time and wind. The Yamaha 25 with the short keel is in the water and we will do performance checks in the spring. The boat feels good in the slip and I think it's going to sail well. We shall see. I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

15Nov11 Message: hi there! my boat is tucked away for the winter, but i brought the rudder/tiller home to work on. I would like to put a new coat of paint on the portion of the rudder which attaches to the transom.. any suggestions as to what type of paint to use? i also need to put some anti fouling paint on the rudder itself. it is a foil rudder, made of some type of plastic. any ideas about what to use on that portion of the rudder? thanks!

Answer: We tape around the rudder part that's on the boat. A flat black paint will work and the type of paint isn't too important. We normally don't paint the rudder. We make it work as designed. The rudder should be raised and turned to one side when it's not being used for steering. In that position, the rudder will be out of the water. Com-Pac sells a rudder-raising device for your boat that makes moving the rudder up and down easy.

12Nov11 Message: Was just looking at your Com-Pac 16 Pilothouse for the first time. A nice looking mod. I have a few questions. What year is the original boat, and with or without centerboard? Is this a Mastendr like the Suncat that stays attached to the stub when trailering? How is it raised/lowered? (Looks like you have some sort of standing rigging attached to the bow pulpit in the first photo.) What sail area did you end up with? What does the boat weigh with the addition of the pilothouse? Do you anticipate any issues with the higher center-of-gravity and/or the increased windage resulting from the pilothouse? Has anyone actually put the boat in the water and sailed it yet? I like it. You guys have a real eye for this sort of thing and the skills to pull it off. (Applause in the background.)

Answer: Our Pilothouse is a 1977 model without a centerboard. It has a mast tender system like the Picnic Cat. The mast size for the Com-Pac 16 and the Picnic Cat are the same. The mast is easy to raise with a mast-raising pole attached to the trailer. One person can raise and lower the mast from a position on the ground at the bow of the boat. The line at the pulpit is part of the mast raising system. We had our sail maker remove 12 inches of sail from the foot of a standard Mark I main sail. We estimate the house, windows and hatch at 150 pounds with a total boat displacement of 1250 pounds. The house is built on a foam fiberglass core that is very strong and light. We think the boat will sail like a standard 16. The 450 pounds of ballast and shoal draft makes this design possible. All 16s go sideways at 35 degrees of heel. Getting 2 boats together for a photo shoot has been difficult. We will do that as soon as we can. Thanks for the kind words .

7Nov11 Message: Hi, I'd like to clean the interior cushions on my 19/2 and I realize the covers unzip. Once the covers are off, should I launder them or dry clean? They're in excellent condition, just need cleaning. Thanks

Answer: Never remove the foam from the covers. You can't get it back in after the covers have been cleaned. We cleaned them like you would a rug. Use a foam rug cleaner and follow the instructions on the can. Put them outside on the cushion's edge to dry. When they look and smell good, put them back in the boat.

26Oct11 Message: Hi Keith, I have pulled my boat from the slip at Steele Creek where it has been since 2004. This CP-23 was in excellent condition when acquired from George Hare. The interior remains in very good condition and really needs no attention. The hull is showing some wear and needs some restoration. The deck is probably ok, with usual chalking. Bottom was painted in 2004 with two coats of red interlux micron, and I cannot tell if sanding and repainting is needed, but I'm guessig it does. The hull above the water line is in good shape, with only one 2-in gouge in the gel coat where bow struck the dock. The navy boot and cove stripes are showing a good bit of wear and peeling. I would be interested in a quote for painting the hull, and probably the bottom. Is that something you would be interested in doing? Before I haul her down to your shop, what do you suggest as a means for evalualtion and estimate of needed work? I have read your Answers page from begging to end numerous times! , so I sort of know what your approach is on most repairs. Of course, I am also considering sale and or upsizing to a boat with more head room, but more likely want to get this boat back in good shape and in the water. I am also seeing what I think is some minor blistering in the area along the port side water line between the bottom paint and the stripe. I can call you to talk about options if you will give me number and best time to call. Thanks

Answer: Boats need bottom paint to protect the hull from blisters in warm lake water. Your bottom paint may be OK if it's clean and smooth. We only do estimates on boats that are on our yard. Wintertime is a poor time to paint because we need 50 degrees of outside temperature to paint. It's hard to find 50 degrees except for short period of time in the afternoons. The bottom is best done in your local area. We do the cosmetic work best and we call it restoration. Bring the boat down and we can do a restoration cost estimate. The next available date for new work is next year.

We do lots of custom work on Com-Pac Yachts. A pilothouse for your boat would cost about $15K. A new pilothouse 23 cost about $72K. Both have standing headroom and are trail-able. Our phone number is 910 324 4005 and our working hours are M-F 8-4.

26Oct11 Message: Am interested inmaking a whisker pole for downwind use with a genoa. I'm thinking of using aluminum tubing with fittings at both ens, one to attach to the clew, the other attached to a bail attached to a track installed onthe mast. It would not telescope out but would be fixed length. Your thoughts on tube diameter, length, and opinion of the approach. I have yet to find a satisfactory pole in of the boating supply catalogues. Appreciate your insight.

Answer: We think the Forespar ADJ 4-8 is the best whisker pole for a Com-Pac 16. The pole diameter is 1 inch and West Marine sells the pole.

13Oct11 Message: Well, hubby and I are disagreeing about the condition of our mainsail. The luff edge is "puckered" along the encased rope, we get a lot of comments that the sail doesn't look right, he thinks it is made that way for speed (it "bowls", catching more wind?) Is this right? I just want it to look nice!

Answer: A sailboat needs all the power it can get from its sails on a lake. A lake is normally considered a low wind area because most lakes are in a hole or low area or it wouldn't be a lake. The luff of the a main sail is the accelerator pedal for all sailboats. You stretch the luff to bring the main sail camber forward as the wind increases to balance the boat. If you have little wind, you don't stretch the luff and if you have lots of wind, you stretch the luff to reduce weather helm and balance the boat. A "puckered" sail looks good to me in light wind conditions.

5Oct11 Message: what size trailer do i need for my compac 23?

Answer: You can sellect the right trailer on the Web. You have a 3000 pound boat. Check trailer speifications on They sell trailers in your area.

4Oct11 Added Answer: The owner reduced the price $500 to $6,000. He reminded me to mention that the 4-stroke motor only has 12 to 15 hours running time.

3Oct11 Message: What is the bottom price on the 97 cp 16 you have, Another QUestion is it possible for someone to do the converson on the 16 by using one of you converson cabins.

Answer: I will check with the owner on the bottom price and let you know. We offer the Pilothouse/Trawler cabin in various stages of completion. The most popular option is doing a rough in for $4,500. We put the house on the boat with a top. No finish work or parts are included in that price.

3Oct11 Message: I want to know if it is okay to remove interior screws on round fixed portlight to clean interior of lexan port. Thanks.

Answer: Com-Pac may (maybe not) use a sealant to hold the plastic lens when they install the inside port. The inside ring and lens are designed to present a finish look and can be removed.

28Sep11 Message: Keith,
I really like your 23 conversion with the Horizon Cat Rig shown in the custom section. Is the mast deck stepped or keel stepped? If deck stepped how do you reinforce the deck to support the mast? I saw my first Compac 23 Mk III the other day and thought the standard rig was not well supported. In fact, the boat I saw was bowed down inside from the weight of the mast and showed water intrusion (mast step had been thru bolted). It would seem that a keel stepped mast for this modification would be a good improvement (taking into account that the head would have to be relocated) over the standard rig. Do you agree?

Having done both the Sun Cat (mast in standard position) and Horizon Cat (mast in forward position) sail conversions for the 23, which do you think sails better and offers the best overall performance across all wind conditions? I must admit the Horizon Cat Mod looks much "saltier".

I have really enjoyed your site and appreciate the work that goes into maintaining it - Great Work!

Answer: The green 23 project boat with the Horizon Cat rig has a keel stepped mast. It's built like a Horizon or Sun Cat. The mast stub works well on this installation. The only time we had a mast bridge problem on 23s was back in 1982 and it only affected about 10 boats. It was from a construction problem, not a design problem. The through bolted boat may have had other external problems like contact with a low bridge. The only downside to the Horizon Cat rig was folding the large main sail in windy conditions.

The next modification on that same boat was moving the mast back to its original position (smaller main and larger headsail). We had to use a deck stepped mast for this modification because we didn't want to change the inside configuration. We had Com-Pac make us a stainless steel tabernacle that would hold the mast stub of a mast tender system and we used a Sun Cat sail for a main. We haven't had time to sail this configuration yet, but will soon and take pictures.

The purpose of both modifications was to make the 23 more trailerable. We like the short (gaff) mast. Anyone can raise the mast without help. The mast systems on the catboats have been very successful and making it work on a 23 is even better because you have a larger boat when you get to that distance location down the road. Both boats will balance well and they will both sail well. The Horizon as we designed it will have a little more sail area than the Sun Cat rig. We did have the Horizon Cat rig deck stepped in the original position for a while. The boom extended about 2 feet aft of the stern. Old English sailboats did this type of sail configurations for light wind conditions. I had a hard time securing the end of the sailcover. This boat wasn't more trailerable, but I would consider it for sailing on a lake.

28Sep11 Message: I have multiple leaks between the cabin top and the hull; both sides around the chain plates and forward. Can this be sealed without splitting the hull / cabin top apart? Suggestions?

Answer: Pull the rub rail off the hull to deck joint on your CP-23. This is best done during the summer time on a hot day. You don't have to disconnect the rub rail at the bow and stern. Lay the rub-rail on the deck or let it hang. Remove the tape from the joint. The tape is there to prevent the 3M5200 from getting on the rub rail while it was still wet during the build process. Clean the joint or grove between the hull and the deck from the outside and apply a new bead of 3M5200 to the grove. Let it cure for about 24 hours and replace the rub rail. Com-Pac used the hull to deck joint to secure some of the inside trim on Mark II and newer boats. You may find a screw coming through the joint. Use a shorter screw and seal the hole with 3M5200.

27Sep11 Message: I would like to keep a plow anchor on the bow roller of my 16 to make it more handy than keeping it in the forward compartment with the battery (yikes). Do you have any input regarding this setup? I see a similar arrangement on the cover of the owner's manual that came with the boat.

Answer: The bowsprit on your Mark III is designed to hold an anchor. A little Bruce anchor (no longer sold in this country) looks really good and fits well. A Bruce replacement anchor is a Claw anchor sold by West Marine. Your boat should have a deck pipe giving your anchor rode storage access. I use a plastic bucket inside the boat to hold the rode. Tie the bitter end to something inside the boat. Flake a wet rode on the deck to dry before putting it in the boat. Tie a short line between the anchor and the bow cleat for going down the road.

20Sep11 Message: I am also considering buying a CP 16. I have extensive sailing experience. I notice that my friend's 16 does not sail too well into the wind in light air. Partly because the sails are old and have lost draft, but also because the spreaders and stays interfere with genoa trim. Where can I see the DIY section to see how tough it would be to add a bow sprit? His boat is a CP one, obviously. Any other thoughts to help upwind pointing in light air would be appreciated. Thanks

Answer: Mark I CP-16s didn’t have spreaders. The spreaders installed on the Mark II and after didn't really work and they can be removed. The rig works without them. In really light wind, sail surface drag is important. I like to use a jib and bring it inside the stays to squeeze the air between the jib and the main. Use your hand to control the clew. This powers-up the main and you point higher. Always heel the boat with the crew being on the low side in light wind. This points the boat up by at least 5 degrees or more. At a wind speed still in the light wind category, sail surface drag disappears and the genoa works better than a jib. You still need to squeeze the air by using your hand on the genoa clew. Tell-tails tell the story in all cases. Avoid stalling the keel and finding the correct wind direction in light air is another secret to light wind performance. Our DIY section will be on this site in a few weeks. The Legacy anchor device is the new bowsprit for the older boats. You will also need to extend the bow pulpit on a Mark I boat. Both easy modifications.

9Sep11 Message: Any suggestions on where to get a new or used trailer to accomodate a Horizoncat?

Answer: We needed a trailer to sell a Horizon Cat that didn't have a trailer. Getting one from FL was too expensive because transportation for one trailer to NC was too high. We purchased a Road King trailer that worked well. Any Road King trailer dealer can sell you a Horizon Cat trailer. I don't think there are any used trailers for sailboats.

5Sep11 Message: How far aft should a boom bail be mounted to accomodate a vang?Can the vang be attached to the mast step through the holes on either side of the step plate? Thanks for yor help.

Answer: A Com-Pac 16 should have the bail mounted as far back as possible without having the vang interfere with cabin access. We use another RF-180 bail on the mast. We think the holes in the tabernacle would be too weak.

4Sep11 Message: i have a 155 - can this sail be converted to use roller-furling - and which of the systems do you recommend. thank you.

Answer: A 155% genoa on a 23 is the best sail in most conditions. The sail bends around the shrouds to let the boat point higher. The sail can be converted to furling with a luff strip and a UV sail cover by a sail maker. I like Harken furling best, but any of the other cheaper systems will work.

3Sep11 Message: Please advise your thoughts on using a traditional, or asymmetrical spinnaker. What are the suggested deimensions? Secondly, what is appropriately sized pole...for use with spinnaker? or, a pole to pole out a genoa. Appreciate your advice.

Answer: There are 2 general types of spinnakers. One is used for racing and requires crew and lots of extra equipment. This type of sail is not recommended for a Com-Pac 16. The cruising spinnaker made by most sail makers can be a fun sail if well designed. I like them made flat without too much belly. This type of sail should work like a large genoa in light air. You should be able to point within 70 or 80 degrees of the wind. Running a halyard from the top of mast means the sail will need to jibe to change directions. We normally use a Forespar Adj 4-8 whisker poles on Com-Pac 16s. I think lake sailors will use a spinnaker more than most coastal sailors will.

1Sep11 Message: i read the following: My Sun Cat sail is installed on a Com-Pac 23 with a Horizon Cat boom. Sailboats should also be fine tuned for the age of their owners. I don't like folding the Horizon Cat sail because it is a large sail. Of course, lake sailors need all the sail area they can get. my question is: is there an advantage for me to do this on my 23/3 - i sail on "no wind lake norman" - thanks

Answer: I think I would like to have a standard sail-plan and a 155% genoa with furling gear on Lake Norman. The Sun Cat sail on my boat is for coastal sailing where we have more wind.

30Aug11 Message: With the current up and down with our stock market, I would not like to take money out question. Do you have any one who is willing to Finance a 16 trawler. Also I love the finished 16 with the sail nice colors could you post some more photos of the inside. Glad you made it through the Storm.

Answer: You helped us develop the generic Sun Cat boom gallows. Thanks. I can't think of anyone with finance money for custom boats. I will put some more inside pictures on the Web soon. We will be glad when this hurricane season is over.

26Aug11 Message: I check this site everyday, and I really appreciate the time you spend answering our questions. It is very helpful. 2 questions. I read earlier a statement you made about using a Suncat Sail on a Horizon Cat especially if sailing coastal North Carolina. What modifications would I need to do and can I purchase sail from you. Second, I have a 2004 Performance trailer that came with the boat (bought her used last year) and instead of rollers have a carpeted keel board. Is there an advantage to this board over rollers. Thanks

Answer: I think all sailboats should be fine tuned for their area. The Sun Cat sail can be used on a Horizon Cat without modification. The gaff and boom will be a little longer than needed. I cut my Horizon Cat boom to get rid of the extra length and put it back together again with pop rivets. My Sun Cat sail is installed on a Com-Pac 23 with a Horizon Cat boom. Sailboats should also be fine tuned for the age of their owners. I don't like folding the Horizon Cat sail because it is a large sail. In lots of wind, it can be a tiger by the tail. We sell Sun Cat sails. Of course, lake sailors need all the sail area they can get.

Rollers are better than a board. Rollers are made by a company that makes rollers. The trailer company makes the board and the rollers are no longer included in the cost of making a trailer. The board reduces the cost of building a trailer.

23Aug11 Message: Finally pushed myself forward to view the chain locker, found water stains on bottom of sole. Since the dorade is directly above (but lacks a dorade boxs to keep water out) I'm wondering if the rot in the bunk boards and the bulkhead forward of the compression post is due to this location of rainwater egress? Secondly, when closed and reopened the amount of heat and humidity suggests poor ventilation. Should I install a niko vent int the dorade space? should I cut a screened porthole in the stern to the port or starboard of the lazarette, increasing ventilation flow? I recently cut out a new hatchboard and drilled 3/4 inch holes, covered it with aluminum screen to improve the ventilation. What are your thoughts?

Answer: Water stains normally indicate a leak. Old Com-Pac 16 vents leaked at the base. We point our vents toward the stern and this helps with big rainstorms. Normal ventilation is not normally a problem because the boat vents at the sliding hatch, the deck vent and we do get some venting at the rear hatch. We replace old vents with new models that don't leak. Com-Pac has them in stock and we buy ours vents from them. The brand is Sea Dog.

14Aug11 Message: Least costly way to transport a ComPac 16 to San Bernardino? Tow on its trailer? On trailer on car carrier? Other? Are you a new compac dealer ie Legacy. Thank you.

Answer: Towing the boat and trailer to CA would be best if you had some other reason to come east. We do sell new Com-Pac Yachts, but we do have a CA dealer. I have asked the Factory to send you contact information on that dealer.

7Aug11 Message: I am looking for a bronze port like the ones on my com.pac - Where should i begin the search? thanks

Answer: We have 2 new ports in stock that we will sell for $600. They have to be sold as a set. The oval ports in a 1991 Com-Pac 23 can be repaired. New glass (Lexan), gaskets and a soak in a vinegar and salt solution will make them look like new.

3Aug11 Message: I would like to purchase 2 matching bronze cleats for spring line contacts for our 23' 1985 compac - is that a Compac factory part or do you have used available?

Answer: Matching a cleat to an older boat will be difficult. Com-Pac cleats change from time to time and we don't have any used bronze cleats. The Web may be a good place to start looking.

2Aug11 Message: There is a reference to DIY files and their removal (due to limits of memory?). Where does one find these DIY files? are they listed by categories? (exm. hull maintenance; rig painting)

Answer: They are no longer on the Web. Unfortunately, the space on our server is limited. We rotate data from time to time and the DIY section will be published again this winter.

2Aug11 Message: I would like to add stern rail/pulpit; I have access to a boat at a marina being cut up and would like to extract the stern pulpit and modify it (cut to width) and instll it. Does it require backing plates? Is access possible through the quarterberths? through the cockpit lzarette? Your thoughts? Thanks.

Answer: Backing plates are normally not required for pulpits. They have lots of contact points and washers will work well as backing plates. Access for installation is possible, but difficult. Com-Pac still makes their old stern pulpit for the CP-16. It may be cheaper to buy their pulpit that comes in 2 pieces and is easy on transportation cost. Com-Pac has a stainless steel shop and they make their own stainless steel components.

29Jul11 Message: I recently purchased a compac 23/3. I would like to know how long is the forestay. My plan is to to add a furling. Also your advice on make/model of furlings.

Answer: I bet Kansas City has changed a little since I grew up there. The sail maker will need the pin-to-pin measurement for your boat. Put the mast up and run a tape up the forestay. Measure from the top of the mast toggle to the forestay hole in the bowsprit. The sail makers will modify your sail in length if needed and install a luff strip. They also install sailcovers in your choice of colors. I like Harken furling the best (best sail shape). CDI is also popular because the cost is low (poor sail adjustment). The sail maker will need to know the brand of furling because luff strips change by brand. We are currently doing business with Super Sailmakers in FL. They know what they are doing when it comes to Com-Pac boats and they are on the Web.

8Jul11 Message: There is a "port" opening forward of the compression post, on the shelf forward of the bunk/setees. Can you identify for what purpose this was intended to satisfy. How should one go about insuring the space is clean, mold and dampness free? Thanks.

Answer: This port gives you access to the bolt that secures the bottom of the compression post. The hull area under the port should be free of mold and dampness if you don't have a leak. The wood in your 16 does an excellent job of reducing moisture content in the cabin. Other brands of boats with only fiberglass in the cabin have moisture problems.

7Jul11 Message: Keith, Are you still doing Suncat/trawler conversions? If so, what is the cost? Do you allow owners to help with the conversion to keep costs down similar to what Norseboat does with their boats? Thanks for the info.

Answer: Yes. The cost for a Sun Cat to Trawler conversion with diesel power is about $30K. Keeping your outboard power reduces the price to $20K. Some outboards can't be controlled remotely and that may be a problem with your current motor.

We can always use help building boats. Most of the conversion cost is in materials. I think some of the inside detail work could be done by you at your location with our help. That would reduce cost.

29Jun11 Message: Have you ever increased the coaming height on a C-16? If so do you have any images? Suggestions? It would be nice to have more of a backrest similar to a Nordica 16.

Answer: We have not added coaming height, but we have removed the coamings for access and good looks. Making a mold from the existing coamings and then adjusting the molds for the correct shape should work as a height extension tool.

25Jun11 Message: Forward of the companionway, in the cabin, looking aft, is a square of flotation foam with the remains of "black" adhesive. Can you identify what this adhesive held in place? What is your recommended for covering this foam space? Thanks

Answer: A 1981 Com-Pac 16 uses block foam to support the cockpit (deck). Some people think the foam is for floation. It is not. Older boats use a wood brace for the same purpose. The Factory used a black indoor/outdoor rug to cover the white foam. It appears that part of your foam may be missing. Make sure your cockpit floor doesn't flex when you put people in the cockpit.

16Jun11 Message: Have cut out portions of the rotted bunkboards, both sides. The supporting 3/8-1/2 supports running along the sole are wet and rotting as well. Can the wood be dried, if so, how? alternatively can it be treated with 2-part epoxy? thanks for help.

Answer: Stop the leak and the wood will dry. Get all the water out of the boat and let the hot summer sun and as much air as possible dry the boat out. The only way to do a good job of replacing 16 bunks is to remove the deck. When we do a bunk replacement, we glass in new wood in the original position after removing the old wood. If you only have a small area of damage, I think I would cut a piece of wood to fit and glass it in place. When water is in a 16, we lift the bow as high as we can. Normally we use a 2X6 under the trailer tongue with the stern sitting on the ground. All the water drains to the stern and we can remove it through the stern hatch. Make sure the boat is secured to the trailer.

9Jun11 Message: The CP-16 spent the sinter on the trailer, somewhat elevated. Was late in roving my winter tarp; the cover ran from stern to over the hatch. When I opened the aft lazarette hatch there was about 2inches of water on the ballast area. I pumped it out. The cabin showed no evidence of any water intrusion. Can you offer an explanation as to where the water found access to the "bilge" area? What should I do to prevent it from happening again? Thanks for you help.

Answer: The boat's angle on the trailer is important. If the bow is up, the rear lazarette gutter will drain water into the boat. If the bow is still up when you find the water, getting it out the rear storage area is easy. If you use the boat without seeing the water, the water will run to the cabin floor. The cabin floor is the lowest part of the boat. You have to do an Indian dance with a towel to remove the water from that area. I don't like tarps on boats. They have to be well designed to do a good job without problems in rain storms.

7Jun11 Message: OK I have a Compac 16 and I know I have ask in the past but. HOW much to make it in to a pilot house so I can cruse the rivers in tennessee and what do I get for the pice you are going to give me. How do you need your money and how long will it take. I have a small camper and will tow it behind me, I also would like to sail the boat and wonder about the stearing from the pilot house. Thank you for the answer you are going to give me. I am 61 and have three sailboats and two kayaks its time to slow down.

Answer: The basic CP-16 Pilot House conversion price is $8,000. This price includes the pilot house with sliding side windows and an overhead hatch. The house has a painted interior with a bench seat for 2 people. The cabin retains the standard bunks, head location and the forward shelf around the compression post. The aft standard ports on each side are removed and that area is refinished. The general house finish is matching gel-coat. The house exterior has 2 handrails on top and 2 handrails at the entrance. The entrance has a removeable canvas cover in a choice of colors.

Additional included items are a mast tender system, a teak mast gallows and a jib furling system. Available optional items include a teak interior and a modification for fuel tank storage.

The CP-16 Pilot House has steering at the tiller only. This arrangement opens up the house as a great place for gear and crew. Sitting on the bench seat and looking out the windows is the best seat on this boat. A canvas extension off the house could make this into the best camper ever made. The house should extend our sailing season on both ends.

Our next available build date is 1Oct11 and we would like to take 3 months for completion. We need a 50% deposit to start work, the rest at completion.

7Jun11 Message: Keith, your website just keeps getting better. Thanks. Question: What brand of bottom paint have you found to do the best in NC brackish waters. Is the Abulative or hard surface type the best? The boat is in water during the summer months, but on the trailer much of the year. Also, on your beautiful Com-Pac 16 Trawler, what color bottom paint did you select (grey, lt blue). A good looking boat for sure.

Answer: We are currently using Blue Water Marine paint. We haven't been using it for very long, but we think it is going to be a good paint. We do have lots of experience with Pettit (Trinidad) and we think it's a great paint for our area. We needed to change for business reasons. An ablative hard surface paint is best for our use. Light sanding between seasons works well for us. The gray paint on the Trawler is a barrier coat. It currently has black bottom paint. We think black wears better than other colors.

6Jun11 Message: Hi, thanks for all the information that you post. This has to take a good amount of time to maintain this website, but getting good information on these boats from someone with experience is valuable and I do appreciate your efforts. I have a Com-Pac 19 that I use as a trailer launched daysailer and I am always looking for ways to shorten and simplify rigging and launching the boat. I'm considering removing the backstay and moving the upper chain plates back on the hull to speed and lighten raising the mast. I have several questions. How far back from the original position have you been placing the upper chain plates? Are you using just washers to back the bolts that have been added to the aft located chainplates? Finally will I need to reinforce the compression post inside the hull. The bolts on the post have already bent and I am wondering if the lack of a backstay will increase the compression forces on the post. Thanks again.

Answer: See picture below for chain plate locations. We use extra inside chain plates for backing plates. Get them direct from Com-Pac. They are cheap. The compression post load will not change. If you replace the damaged bolts, make sure you support the deck at the compression post before you remove and replace the bolts. The deck is loaded in its static condition. It will drop at the hull to deck joint if you are not careful.

25May11 Message: Your thoughts on the cp 25 with westerbeke, reliability, general upkeep, with use on inland waters.

Answer: I have own several 25s that I called "my boat". I like the size and the Com-Pac quality. I have one owner that uses his CP-25 on a lake in Ohio. He has had the boat for a long time and likes his boat. I have several owners around here (coastal North Carolina) and they all like their boats.

24May11 Message: I sail my Suncat a lot in light air(under 10 mph) and am wondering whether a slightly lighter weight loose footed dacron sail would be helpful. I recognize that the range of wind speeds would be narrowed at the top end. Also do you think full battens would be any advantage in such a sail? Really enjoy your site and have learned a lot here!

Answer: I think making a sailboat sail in light wind is what sailing is all about. You don't need as much sailing talent to sail in big winds. Customizing a sailboat to sail well in a local area is what an experience sailor would do. I like your lighter weight sail idea, but I don't think full battens would help (more drag in light air). We just talked to a Sun Cat sailor about using a CP-16 cruising spinnaker on a Sun Cat in light wind. The wind off the headsail (jib or cruising spinnaker) is directed through the slot to the mainsail. When the mainsail gets some wind, the boat moves out in air that you can't see on the water. You could borrow or buy a used CP-16 jib for a test. A low cost jib from any daysailor will work. You will have to add a halyard, but the sheets can go anywhere for light air sailing. Good luck.

20May11 Message: What do you recommend for a motor mount backing that is installed inside the hull? Am fixing a bad installation on my used boat and am interested in what you might suggest. I'm thinking oak.

Answer: We use 1/2 inch plywood for most backing plates inside boats. Plywood will not crack like solid wood panels .

15May11 Message: I was reading the Mast Raising section and I saw that I would benefit from a Boom Tender System off the Sun Cat. Do you carry that? What's the price? Do you carry a Mast Gallows for my boat? I was also wondering if you carried a bowsprit that would work on the 1982 com-pac 19 making like the newer ones? Thanks.

Answer: A mast gallows for a 19 cost $450 plus shipping. You really need a stainless steel stern pulpit to make that option work well. A better solution may be our Generic Sun Cat gallows sold under the Hardware Section on our New and Used Parts link. With a mast gallows installed on a Mark I 19, you don't need a mast tender or a boom tender system. Your boom will fold by pulling the boom aft and rotating it 90 degrees. We strap the boom to the mast and pull the main sheet tight. See the 16 picture below.

You can buy a bowsprit direct from Com-Pac. You will need to modify your bow pulpit like the one we did on our DIY link. I like the anchor roller option for a Legacy better. It will extend your sail plan by 12 inches just like a bowsprit, but it will cost alot less money. See the 16 picture below.

The rigging on your 19 could remain the same, but we like to remove the backstay and move the uppers aft. You don't have to do this modification, but raising the mast is better without a backstay. If you install a bowsprit, you may need to install a small extension. We have a picture of the rigging changes on our Mast Raising link.

15May11 Message: For lite air sailing areas, would it be possible to install the Mastender System on a Com-Pac 23D with the Horizon Cat Boom, Gaff and Sail? This should provide a gain of about 30 sqft of sail area over the Sun Cat Gaff Mod with the modified jib. The idea being that you can always reef the Main without depending on a big Genoa for lite air performance.

Answer: We did the Horizon Cat rig on the 23 before we did the Sun Cat rig. The boom was a little long but manageable and everything else worked as designed. We went to the Sun Cat sail for ease of use and because we normally have more wind in our coastal area. Had this been a low wind (lake or West Coast) project, I would have stayed with the Horizon Cat sail. I remember seeing pictures of old English boats with mains that extend pass the transom. A little more weather helm isn't all that bad. You use the 23 mast (make it shorter), the 23 boom as a gaff and buy a new boom for the new sail. What makes a mast tender work for the 23 is the tabernacle. The first tabernacle we made was made from carbon fiber as a sock and proved to be too much work. Com-Pac made us a tabernacle from stainless steel that worked better. You can order one from Com-Pac and use our specifications.

One benefit to the Sun Cat sail is that the boom can go higher on the Horizon Cat mast. This gives us standing headroom under the bimini. I really like this part of the modification.

Another benefit for Horizon Cat sailors is a Sun Cat sail if they have too much wind. I'm sure many Horizon Cat sailors that live on the East Coast fall into this category. It's an easy modification. The picture below shows the Horizon Cat boom and sail on the 23.

13May11 Message: Can I purchase already made teak foot pads for my factory installed ladder on my 2002 Sun Cat? I'm sure the round rungs will not be easy on bare feet.

Answer: Com-Pac sells teak and "Starboard" foot pads for your ladder. They may be difficult to install because they require drilling and tapping holes in the ladder rungs for attachment. West Marine sells "Sole Mate Ladder Treads" that may work for you. They are designed for 1-inch rungs and I'm sure our ladder is 7/8 inch. You should be able to come up with a spacer that will make them work on the smaller rung. The West Marine part number is 490136 and the price is reasonable.

3May11 Message: I love my Sun Cat but I'd sail more if I could sail better in light air. Do you have any suggestions or ideas about adding a drifter. I've "Googled" this and folks who have bought rip stop nylon at Jo-Ann Fabrics. I could buy some nylon, but I'd have no clue what to do with it!

Answer: I think I would buy a Com-Pac 23 cruising spinnaker offered for sale on this Web site. The $100 price tag is a big bargain and you can make it work with some adjustments. We currently have 2 in stock.

If I had a Sun Cat in a light wind area, I think I would add more sail area. We have modified a Com-Pac 19 with a Com-Pac 23 mast and sail. It worked well in light wind and wasn't that bad in heavy wind. We talked about adding a bowsprit to a Sun Cat and adding a jib, but didn't get it done. I have purchased Sun Cats from Clark Mills when he was building the Sun Cat. That was many years ago and before Com-Pac started building them. His boats had more sail area and a different rig. The Com-Pac Sun Cat has room on the deck for a mast behind the hatch. The Sun Cat could be a sloop without too much trouble.


Answer: With the keel going downwind, we want less drag and the keel is shaped for this condition. When we are on the wind, the sails produce power at an angle other than our true course. The difference between sail power and keel direction produce a keel pressure difference from side to side (side-slip). This keel pressure difference is called lift. The keel foil shape should help maintain smooth water flow at certain speeds. An old flat Com-Pac rudder blade produces good lift at high speeds. You can see some drag being generated at the trailing edge (rooster-tail). The new foiled rudder blade may have less drag. I think the answer to your question is "maybe".

27Apr11 Message: I would like to repaint the bottom of my 23. I've told by others that you can put a piece of 2 x 8 between two of the trailer keel rollers and use jacks on solid base to raise it a couple of inches to roll under the keel where it would normally contact those rollers. In your opinion, is the keel strong enough to do that? Movable wedges at the bunks for lateral support.

Answer: The keel is strong enough to support the boat. I don't think I would lift the boat with jacks. I think I would paint the area between the rollers and let it dry (about 2 days). Back off the trailer winch strap 4 inches and connect the boat's 2 aft mooring cleats with 1/2 line to a tree. Pull the trailer forward until the boat moves aft. Paint the area between the rollers and then pull the boat back with the trailer winch. Some owners have removed and replaced their boats on their trailers using the tree method. Blocking the keel as the boat comes off the trailer with additional lines or supports on both sides works well. You have to be careful when you move 3000 pounds.

24Apr11 Message: Hello! I have taken the rub rail off of my '79 CP-16 to temporarily seal the deck to hull joint. In the late Fall, I hope to disassemble things to completely renovate my dear little "Puff". What can I use to temporarily hold the rub rail on tightly enough to sail this season, but to be able to remove it easily enough come winter? The joint's few leaking spots have been sealed using a removable marine caulk. Would that do to help snug up the rub rail? Thank you so very much! I live in NC and hope to visit you sometime this summer! I appreciate your forum! thanks again!

Answer: The rub rail on a Com-Pac 16 is a snap-on fit. Your rub rail may be too long. The way we install new rub rail is to attach one end. We then run the middle part the shortest distance over the deck, stretching it an much as we can and attach the other end. We then pull the rub rail down over the joint for a tight fit. It is best to do rub rail work on a hot sunny day. Old rub rail can be hard to fit. It doesn't stretch as much as the new stuff. Come by and see us anytime.

21Apr11 Message: We've owned our 1984 Com-Pac for two years. We sail it primarily in the Albemarle Sound. The boom that came with it is not original. The main is, I think, original. It has a rope in the foot that appears to be for a slotted boom and and because our boom has no slot, we've been sailing her loose-footed. I'm curious if a slotted OEM boom might be a worthwhile investment performance-wise. Do you have OEM booms for this boat for sale? How much would one cost? While we're at it, would a vang be something we should consider as well?

(Happy Birthday Mom)
Answer: Your current boom should be OK if it is long enough to fit an outhaul tension device. When the wind is up, the foot will be too loose and that will keep you from making the sail as flat as it should be. A loose-footed sail may help performance in light air. A vang is normally used for sailing downwind. I don't like sailing downwind unless I'm racing. You may not use a vang that much. Most people don't. I may have a used boom for sale and the price would be reasonable.

19Apr11 Message: I recently purchased a 2004 Horizon Cat and have found that the ports are leaking. After a rain the carpet under the port and starboard "shelves" is wet and water has leaked onto the cabin cushions. Could you give some advice on best way to handle this problem. Thanks, and I really appreciate your site and the time you spend helping out Compac Owners.

Answer: We have had some success by removing the inside frame and caulking from the inside. Plastic windows do not remove well after being sealed with 3M5200 and I would try to avoid that solution. Also check to see if the glass to window gasket is damaged. Com-Pac can provide new gaskets. Water should puddle on the outside next to the window after a rain. All the windows should have the same puddle. If the leaking window doesn't have a puddle, it's the gasket. Good luck.

18Apr11 Message: Depth sounder - my readout is a Standard Communications Model DS45 - The transducer is a Airmar - the base is not a thru hull, but epoxied to the fiberglass bottom under a berth - the base is loose, not a tight fit where base is attached to hull - I am not getting any depth displayed on the read-out -does the loose base play into this? How do I troubleshoot this unit?

Answer: The transducer has to make contact with the hull. The loose transducer may be the problem. The boat has to be in the water for testing. Make sure the transducer's face is "wet" by putting it in a plastic bag of water. If it still doesn't work, your next test procedure is to replace the transducer. Your transducer installation was designed to be permanent. Most people use caulking without bubbles to make the "wet" connection between the transducer and the hull. The test bag of water will freeze during the wintertime.

15Apr11 Message: Love your site. You would have my businessif is lived near NC. Have you had any requests to repower using an electric motor? I saw a Thoosa Electric inboard at the New England Boat Show and am seriously considering this to replace my outboard. Any thoughts? Also, any recommendations for a yard in my area (NH, ME)?

Answer: We haven't had a request for an electric motor installation yet. We are in a coastal area where they may not be that popular. We can travel long distances with a Com-Pac 23 in our area. I can remember a 14-hour trip between Ocracoke and New Bern, NC.

Com-Pac makes engine mounts for their diesel models. That mount should work for an electric installation. Com-Pac is currently converting from the old angle iron mount to a new fiberglass mount used in the Pilot House model. Getting the outboard off the transom and putting the motor amidships makes the boat sail and feel better. I really like a diesel 23.

One of Com-Pac's largest dealers was located on the Parker River. I think their name is Fernal, but I thiink I would check with Com-Pac for a recommended dealer in your area.

13Apr11 Message: Am planning the replacement of rotted and broken saloon settee boards. They are broken from the compression post area back about 30-40 inches. My plan is to: 1. establish the pattern for the area to repaired; 2. remove the damaged plywood; cut out new plywood to the pattern. My questions are as follows: how does one cut the plywood to match the inside curve of the hull liner? how does one "tab" the plywood, both to the hull liner and the forward bulkhead? Lastly, I saw pics where teak/holly sole was installed in the space between the saloon settee boards. Can one install wood on this space and, if so, is it installed with new stringers and the flooring epoxied and screwed? Your advice and recommendations appreciated.

Answer: The damage was caused by the boat's leaking hatch slides. Make sure you pull the screws, caulk the screws and then replace the screws. A dry boat is a happy boat.

We use cardboard or heavy paper to make a pattern. Place the cardboard on the curve and use anything including your hand to make a crease in the cardboard. You can cut the cardboard with scissors to make your curved pattern. I would use the old glass as a connector if it is still there. If it isn't, lay the wood down next to the hull and lay glass and resin at the joint. Epoxy will stick to wood better than polyester resin. The wood parts that we have been talking about are part of the boat's structure. They are designed as bucks, but they also make the boat strong for trailer use. Teak and holly or anything else that's fancy is a veneer. We put it on top of the structure.

12Apr11 Message: Hello Again, I Recently acquired a 155 Genoa and would like to use it on a drum and swivel sys- tem while retaining the factory jib ,similarly equipped. The boat has a Hutchins bow sprit. In effect Iwould have two options, each on a separate "forestay"Does this make sense? If so where would the upper and lower mountings go?Even if the two headsail idea is a no go ,I would like to install a foestay for safety's sake as the cable in the luff arrangement is only as strong as the upper swivel. Please give me your advice on both questions. You have been most helpful in the past and I appreciate your wise counsel.

Answer: I don't like the 2 forestay arrangement. It may work if the boat is in the water all the time. We install a safety line (another halyard) for a wire furling system. It lives on the mast when the mast is down and we connect it to the pulpit when the mast is up. This arrangement gives you a safe system.


Answer: Clark Mills designed the Com-Pac 16, 23 and the Optimus Pram. He also designed the Sun Cat and the bow of the Sun Cat and the 23 are almost the same. The 23 bowsprit fits the Sun Cat like a glove. I think all traditional sailboat designers borrow features from each other over time. The answer to your question is "maybe".

6Apr11 Message: Is it possible to use the trailer that comes with the Compac 16 (Magic Tilt) with 8 inch tires to haul a Compac 19. Or does it take a completely different configuration?

Answer: The 16 trailer holds 1100 pounds and the 19 trailer can hold 2000 pounds. A 19 can't be used with a 16 trailer.

2Apr11 Message: I have heard that there has been situations where the genoa/jib track on the Compacs equipped with them can come off of the top of the coaming because it is not through bolted. Is this a cause for concern and if so what is the best fix?

Answer: That's a new problem for me and we haven't seen it on the Com-Pac 16s. The larger boats with larger loads are through bolted.

1Apr11 Message: Ever try using the stern pushpit as the mainsheet horse or round bar traveler with the CP23?

Answer: We haven't done that yet. Most of our mainsheet traveler modifications move the mainsheet from mid boom to the bridge deck.

31Mar11 Message: I wish to sand and varnish the wood on the deck. Initially,I wish to remove the wood supports surrounding the companionway hatch and the hatchboard. Are the screws removed from the inerior or accessible by removing "bungs" then remove the screws by unscrewing them? Wht would be the recommendation for removing "bungs"?

Thanks again for all your support and advice.

Answer: You can remove the wood on a CP-16 by removing the screws accessed from inside the boat. No bungs involved.

26Mar11 Message: About the Compac 16 pilot house. IF I furnish the boat what would be the cost and Can I still use it as a sail boat or buy the one 16 you have and have you turn it into a pilot house..Suggestions and Price.

Answer: The Com-Pac 16 Pilot House is currently a $10K modification to a 16 if you furnish the boat. The Pilot House will have a cut down mainsail and the jib or genoa that's on the boat. The only change to the sailing rig is a hinged mast, a boom gallows and about 18 inches of sail removed from the mainsail foot. The boat will sail about the same as a standard 16. The halyards will be lead back to the cockpit. The hatch in the house will be larger than the Trawler's hatch and will allow most people to standup in the house. The side windows in the house slide open and a canvas covers the aft end of the house. The old bridge deck will have a standard seat cushion designed for "out of the sun" sailing. The bunk and toilet locations will remain the same.

We currently have 2 used Com-Pac 16s for sale. Both are suitable for conversion. We are currently offering the sailing rig modifications as a discount. Prices will be subject to change.

21Mar11 Message: I really appreciate your web site. New owner of 2004 Horizon Cat. The rudder on my boat is foiled and has several "dings" in it with glass exposed. I need some suggestions on repair. Also would like to paint the rudder but unsure if to paint or compound/wax if it is gelcoat. Thanks for your time and consideration.

Answer: Your rudder started life with a gel-coat finish on the outside. Most Horizon Cats that have bottom paint also have their rudder painted with the same paint. If the boat is going to be trailered, I think I would repair the original gel-coat. The rudder should be bottom painted if the boat is going to live in the water.

18Mar11 Message: 1981 CP-16. At the top of the Rudder head are two screws/rivets. I assume these held the jam cleat in place. Where do I get a replacement for the jam cleat? Also, are these screws or rivets (the head is stripped).

Answer: West Marine sells jam cleats. Get one that fits the rudder raising line. Use one of the existing holes in the rudder and drill another hole if the other cleat hole doesn't fit the other rudder hole. Cover the spare hole with the cleat if possible. Most new cleats will not have the same hole pattern as the old cleat. You can use screws or rivets to attach. Com-Pac has used both in the past.

15Mar11 Message: In your DIY section...glad to see it back Thanks. The picture associated with DIY Project 15 gives me an indication of placement of a new motor mount. It appears to be lower on the Transom than the original mount. My question is can the motor mount be placed at the same level of original mount. For consideration: extra long shafted motor Thanks

Answer: I would put it at the same level. The new mounts are (up and down) adjustable and a little longer front to back. They make 3 different outboard lengths. Standard is 15 inch, long is 20 inch and extra long is longer. The 19 really likes the long length. The extra long is too much in my opinion.

7Mar11 Message: Replacing damaged cabin berth plywood tops - what do you suggest as a replacement grade plywood? What type of sealer, epoxy or paint on this replacement?

Answer: The solution to the problem is to stop the leaks and make the inside dry. "CD" grade exterior plywood from the lumber store will work just fine. The factory currently uses an oil base paint for the inside, but they have uses latex paint from time to time. You need to match the existing paint color. Com-Pac has changed from gray (your boat) to white for the inside color.

4Mar11 Message: Great web site - I love the "answers". You guys are incredibly knowledgable. I am cleaning up my recently purchased 1988 CP 19/3 and would appreciate some advice on how to properly clean the aluminum mast and boom without damaging the finish. Thanks.

Answer: We use Marine Penetrol for masts and booms. It's a product made by the Flood Corporation and comes in quart cans. West Marine should sell Penetrol. A Flood Corporation phone number is 800 321 3444.

26Feb11 Message: I just recently discovered your website and I was really enjoying looking at pictures of your trawlers and reading thru the DIY section. Do you have any plans to put some of that content back up on the site? I'd really like to see some project boats and how-to's if you have any stuff like that.

Answer: My Web site has a size limit and pictures take up lots of space. The War Stories and Cruising links will end in early April and the DIY section will return. We have a Com-Pac 16 Trawler that's just about finished and it will be featured in our "What's New" link soon. Small Boat Advisor magazine has all the building pictures for our Coastal Packet Trawler and they may be in one of their up-coming publications.

25Feb11 Message: Hello,I'm looking to set my new Picnic Cat up for camp/cruising. Any ideas on creating a sleeping area on a Picnic Cat. I was thinking of suspending a camping hammock between the mast and boom gallows but wasn't sure of the strenth of the gallows.Any cool ideas would be appreciated.Thanks

Answer: We have a picture of a Picnic Cat with 2 biminies installed on our Member's site. I think that's a good idea for camping. You could add supports to the boom gallows uprights. The tubes are 1 inch stainless and a clamp-on fitting with small stainless extensions to the deck would work. They sell all the parts and pieces at West Marine.

23Feb11 Message: Current (original?) mainsail has no slugs but bolt rope(s). Do you suggest sugs be installed? if so, what size slugs? One person suggested not using the bolt rope on the boom, instead using it as "loose-footed"; what is your thoughts?

Thanks again for your advice and assistance.

Answer: Slugs are better if you fold your sail under a sail cover. If you don't use a sail cover, your boltrope sail may sail a little better than a sail with slugs. Many innovations in sailing do not apply to everyone. When we raced 16s on a regular basis, we didn't see any difference between loose footed, boltrope and slugs on sails. We also didn't see a big difference between centerboard and non-centerboard boats. The centerboard boats would point higher (5 degrees), but they were slower downwind. The biggest difference in 16 sailing is the sailor .

23Feb11 Message: I noticed in a previous answer that you stated you took the hull apart when redoing the interior wood in a Com-Pac 16. 1.) What do you guys use to bond the two halves back together? 2.) Do you have templates available for the interior wood pieces?

Answer: I'm sure that I meant to say that we removed the deck from the hull. The hull to deck joint is sealed with 3M5200 and reconnected with rivets or screws. We do not take the hull apart. The old wood interior was connected to the hull with resin and glass. You can look at another 16 for the other dimensions that you will need to build an interior. We don't have templates for that application. .

16Feb11 Message: Hi Keith; We have been the proud owners of out Com-Pac 23/II for 8 years.The boat is still in great shape and gets many compliments. The only problem I have is that the forward most starboard portlight has developed a leak around where the portlight penitrates the cabin side. I have caulked around it twice using 3M 4200, I have cleaned the area with acetone . I have been trying to keep the size of the bead to a minimum. I would rather not remove the portlight but if I must I must.What is the best way to proceed and what is the best caulk to use. Thank you for your help.Keep up the great work on your site.

Answer: I use 3M 5200 and it works well on port leaks without removing the port. Most caulking jobs require compression between 2 objects to work. That's a true statement for all underwater caulking. 3M 5200 is so good it will work without this requirement above the waterline. Those Com-Pac 23s keep getting better and better.

10Feb11 Message: The photo albumn displays a new CP-16 with boom gallows and lifelines. Can a 1981 be fittted with lifelines if a boom gallows is purchased?

Answer: A lifeline option for the Com-Pac 16 had a stainless steel pulpit with lifeline attachment points, 2 stanchions, and a stern pulpit. I'm sure the factory still sells this option. A custom system can be made for an 81 model using a boom gallows, 2 stanchions with the lifelines secured to the deck at the bow. Lifelines parts can be purchased from West Marine including the swaging tool. They also sell a stainless steel connector that will fit our 1 inch stainless generic boom gallows.

8Feb11 Message: Hey Keith, How's it going? Fine I hope. Trying to figure out where to mount a depth finder. I'll use a puck transducer that will shoot through the hull so no hole necessary hopefully. Don't know where to put the gauge. Any ideas? Thanks!

Answer: We put the transducer in the storage locker under the forward cushions on a Com-Pac 19. The indicator goes on the cabin bulkhead facing the helmsman. You can test the transducer in a plastic bag of water. If that works and I'm sure it will, we use a glob of silicone caulk for a semi permanent installation.

7Feb11 Message: I've heard pros and cons on different methods of removing old bottom paint. What do you feel is the best and easiest way to do this job?

Answer: The value of a boat with a smooth bottom is much greater than one that has a rough (not smooth) bottom. Once it has a rough bottom, making it smooth is difficult. West Marine sells several different paint removers that work well. If the old paint is heavy, several coats of paint remover are required. The final process is sanding to make the bottom smooth again. It hard work and takes a long time for good results.

I have heard that sandblasting also works for large bad bottoms. I think I would try this method if my boat was larger than 25 feet.

7Feb11 Message: I need to replace my motor mount...currently have a 7.5 Johnson Sea Horse 2 stroke 1983 model but thinking about upgrading to a 6 hp 4 stroke. Do you have any recommendations for a motor mount. Thanks

Answer: The Com-Pac factory uses a stainless steel bracket like the one sold by West Marine (it may be the same bracket). The part number is 315119. Most 6 hp 4 stroke motors are about 60 pounds and this bracket will work well. West says don't use this bracket for 4 stroke motors, but they appear to be wrong. I would add stainless steel fender washers to the installation bolts as added backing plates.

31Jan11 Message: Your forum is excellent and has helped me greatly already. I own a 1981 CP-16 which was well cared for above the waterline, but had poor attention paid to bottom paint although it was kept in salt water. When I bought it last fall, it was covered with barnacles. I removed most of the hulls, but a lot of residue and the base disks are still present. I was planning on having the hull from waterline down sanded and painted and wondered what was the right product(s) procedure(s) to use. I will be keeping her dry on a trailer and using in fresh water only.

Answer: I would complete the sanding by making the bottom smooth. We would paint the bottom with a barrier coat and then paint with Pettit Vivid that has a white color. We barrier coat all boats that haven't been bottom painted before. The barrier coat will also help protect the glass after the heavy gel-coat sanding. We like Vivid white because it makes the boat look original and that's good for a boat that's going to be used from a trailer.

26Jan11 Message: I intend to repair the "spider cracks" just above/around the port and starboard rails. I will use a a triangular sanding pit or a triangular cutter is preferred?

After I drill out the damaged areas, forming a triangular cavity, I will clean out with soap+ water, then initially fill with "putty"(per Don Casey's book on Sailboat finishing). Then I will fill with either paste gel coat or gel coat resin and finally, sand to finish.

Question 1- what type of putty is recommended? Does it need to be color matched? Question 2- should I use both paste and resin? Will paste alone suffice? Question 3- do you have any suggestions as a starting point for tinting the gel coat of a 1981 CP-16? Question 4- Any steps I missed or do you have some thoughts to improve the process i outlined?

Answer: We use a dremel and it works well. We don't use soap and water for cleaning. We do use Acetone for gel-coat and alcohol for painted surfaces. We use Formula 27 (Evercoat) as a filler. The filler color is white and that's important. Gel-coat is transparent and less gel-coat will be required if the filler is as close to the same color as the gel-coat. We also use a Polyester Glazing Compound (Evercoat) as a final filler. You will get a better blend between the old and new surfaces with a glazing compound. The glazing compound and the old gel-coat have the same amount of hardness. We use paste for color match purposes. We mix a little of this and a little of that for the right color. Starting with a basic white gel-coat requires lots of mixing. Mixing a paste with resin wouldn't work very well. Com-Pac boats are for the most part an off white color. We buy gel-coat from Com-Pac and they will sell it to you in small quantities. A pint should do it and they call the color that you want "Dusty White". You might add a little paste for a better color for your boat. Most old boats have lots of chalking. This makes the surface dull and your gel-coat repair will cure dull. Your gel-coat will cure dull because it contains wax. Wax is required to seal the gel-coat and make it hard. Gel-coat inside a mold doesn't require wax because the mold seals the gel-coat. They come out with a shine. If you shine the new gel-coat, it will stand out against the old boat. No match. We spray gel-coat using a Preval touch-up spray bottle. It works like a can of spray paint and it's cheap. You mix a little gel-coat and add 20% styrene as a thinner. Remove the little filter on the end of the pickup tube. Prevals should cost you less than $5 each and you should be able to buy them from a car parts store that stocks car painting supplies. Car people use them for car paint touch-up. It's a great tool. You can use a brush, but making the surface smooth after the cure will require more work. Don't forget to mix the harder with the gel-coat. Gel-coat requires two times as much as resin.


Answer: Most owners don't use the lifeline gate. Using it might help getting on and off the boat. I hang fenders, wet towels and wet rodes on the lifelines. I kind of like the lifelines. We sold lots of boats back in the 80s and early 90s and these boats are getting more valuable as they get older. When I value a boat, I look for a standard boat first and then any popular modification that will increase its value. In the old days, lifelines were an option that everyone ordered.

23Jan11 Message: On our Com-Pac 19, I would like to remove the spreaders and move the uppers aft as you have discribed. At times we get into some very gusty conditions. Are there any caluclations that show the limits of the mast in this configuration?

Answer: No. The benefit of the modification is using the boat from a trailer and getting the mast up and down. Everything is a compromise in sailing and this is one of them. If you sail with the rail in the water most of the time, I wouldn't remove the backstay. However, if the tension is correct on the uppers and lowers on a standard boat, the mast will bow back in the middle. This isn't good for sail shape. Look at the mast (bottom to top) from the base of the mast while sailing. It should be straight or have a little curve forward at the middle for good sail shape. The standard boat doesn't do this.

23Jan11 Message: I plan to install midship cleats on my Sun Cat. The best way to do so is not clear to me. Would appreciate your advice.

Answer: We normally do midship cleats on large boats. They have limited value on small boats. The deck is cored and using a stainless fender washer under a nut will work as a backing plate. The liner inside the Sun Cat is going to get in the way. I would consider going through the deck and the liner if the liner is touching the deck on the inside. Acorn nuts on the inside would give a finished look and the liner could be the backing plate. If the gap is too large between the liner and the deck, you need to reconsider midship cleats.

19Jan11 Message: Hi,What's your opinion on the Compac Picnic Cat.

It's a low performance daysailor and that's my kind of daysailor. You can sail it in pretty good winds and enjoy the experience. I have a boat owned by an older person on the coast of North Carolina. They keep it on a boat lift and sail it on a large bay without a motor. You get good at sailing when you sail without a motor.

16Jan11 Message: How do you replace rotted bunkboards in the cabin?

Answer: We remove the deck to replace the bunk boards on a Com-Pac 16. Remove the rub-rail and the screws that hold the deck to hull. The drains need to cut and the big screw under the mast tabernacle removed. Two men can lift and remove the deck. PVC splices are used to replace the drains. Repairing the interior plywood is easy with the deck removed .

6Jan11 Message: How do I fit my Suncat to a Boat lift? Can the bunkers of the lift, set just outside the keel, provide enough support without having to figure out some support under the keel? Stating it another way is: Is the structure of the Suncat solid enough to sit on the bunkers placed on each side of the keel and sit there with no support under keel and do so without the boat bottom springing up, cracking the fiberglass and warping the boat. Thanks in advance for your input.

Answer: We do it all the time. Use 2X6s for the bunks on the lift and put them close to the keel. Spread the load over an area as large as possible. We haven't seen any damage caused by boat lifts.

14Dec10 Message: Hi Keith, Am thinking about getting a genoa for this boat since I sail on a river where winds are often light. Would intend using it with drum and swivel furling system currently used on the stock jib. Do you have any advice as to size, installation or any other matter related to this project? Thanks. Have a merry Christmas and all the best for you and your business in 2011.

Answer: The stock Mark I genoa never worked very well. It was a 200 percent sail that used the stern cleat for a sheet fairlead. A better sail would be a 150 percent that had an adjustable fairlead track like the Mark II. If you don't want to do a track, place a fairlead where the sail's "long perpendicular" hits the deck. (an extension of a right angle off the luff that goes through the clew to the deck). This will give you the correct sail trim for sailing on the wind or pointing. The other points of sail can be jury rigged with cheater lines. Three tell-tales on each side of the sail 6 inches back from the luff will tell you what you need to know about sail trim.

9Dec10 Message: as ocean and coastline sailor in Brasil, now living in Long Island, I read your web side with great interest and liked very much your entrepeneur spirit in experimenting new ship performance...congratulations...actually I'm looking for a nice used CC 16' (downgrading because of age) Fair winds

Answer: Thanks for the kind words. We have that great looking 87 model on our yard. Check out our Used Boat listing on the left. Our project Com-Pac 16 will be available sometime during the spring. The price will be about the same as the 87 model. It has a centerboard, internal ballast, mast gallows, yellow AWL-Craft hull and new sails. The CEO of Com-Pac Yachts has two sons and one of them is restoring 16s. You may want to get on his list for a used boat. Email the factory for contact information and ask for Tyler.

27Nov10 Message: Do you have winter hours at Richlands --- would like to visit late February if the shop is open.

Answer: We will be open. Our hours are 8 to 4, Monday through Saturday.

21Nov10 Message: I recently looked at a 1998 Com Pac 16 with the reqular stub keel, but it had a center Board in it. Is that a factory configuration or has it been modified by other than the factory?

Answer: It was the standard configuration for that year.



Answer: We don't have a "Pop Top" available for the CP-23. We do have boats with dodgers that give standing headroom in the cabin hatch area. The green project boat on this Web site has standing headroom in the cockpit under its bimini. It requires a rig change. The new Pilot House CP-23 will have standing headroom in the cabin and we hope to build an aftermarket house for older models next year.

9Nov10 Message: Hello, My boat has standard main and jib,the latter on a drum and swivel furler. It also has a bow sprit, the full use of which is constrained by the short bow pulpit.To date I have not had the guts to cut it and extend it to allow me to fasten the jib further forward. Your recent DYI entry on this subject gives me the incentive to try.Thank you. I have 2 fifteen inch long tracks on which I want to put moveable cleats in order to better adjust the jib. Where shall I put the tracks in relation to the stock cleats Do they go on the combing or the gunwhale,Flat or on edge? Are screws enough to hold them in place and if not how do I deal with the thick floatation material under the combing? Finally is the installation of the tracks even worthwhile? Sorry to be so long winded.

Answer: They go on the combing flat. Tracks are standard on the CP-16 Mark II and the forward position on the track is used for the jib and the rest is used for a genoa. A Mark I uses the stern cleat for a genoa fairlead. Screws are used for track installation and they work well. I think I would use tell tails and a small extension line on the jib tack. Vary the line length for a perfect upwind sail shape. Sail shape on a beam reach will be more difficult to adjust, but it can be done with a cheater line. You should be able to do this fix with your furling gear.

29Oct10 Message: Please let me know your opinion of the CP-16 with centerboard compared to the fixed keel models. Is there a way to search your answer board by topic? Thanks for all your great info.

Answer: I like the fixed keel version unless I need a boat that points 5 degree higher. If you have a need to tack up a cheek on a regular basis, the centerboard boat would be a good choice. There is extra maintenance required for that type of boat. I like to think that I can out point a centerboard boat with a boat that doesn't have a centerboard. Some people call that experience and other people call it cheating. My Answer board can't be indexed. Sorry.

27Oct10 Message: Would you be able to convert my 1998 P16.5 into a trawler? I have been sailing for many years and would like to have a small trawler I could sleep on.

Answer: I think it's possible. We had a P16.5 in the same shop when we were building the tooling for the CP-16 Trawler. A house on the P16.5 should look pretty good. A pedestal helm seat in the middle of the floor with the controls in the forward bunk area would work well. That would leave sleeping bunks on both sides.

20Oct10 Message: Hello ordered brass bushing for rudder bushing would not fit over existing bolts. WHAT IS THE SIZE OF THE ORIGINAL BOLTS. THANK YOU

Answer: The rudder bolts for the CP-23 are 5/16 inch.

15Oct10 Message: I want to flush my Yanmar while on the trailer. I was told to ask about the "fake a lake" you have. Can you provide some info? Thanks

Answer: We disconnect the intake water hose at the seacock. That's the same place that you should be using to anti-freeze your engine. Put the hose in a bucket of water and start the engine. Maintain the water level in the bucket while the engine is running. We use a water hose to maintain the water level in the bucket. You can't put your engine in gear while the engine is running. The cutless bearing requires water for lubrication. You will destroy the bearing if you run it dry. You should use about 1/2 gallon of anti-freeze to protect your engine and the engine systems for the winter. When you see green coming out the exhaust pipe, stop the engine.

3Oct10 Message: Do you know when/if Com-Pac stopped using wood-core in the top of the deckhouse in the CP19 and CP16 boats?

Answer: They stopped using wood-cored decks in 1980.

29Sep10 Message: I am looking to buy a 1987 compac 16/2. It has about 8 inches of blistering on both sides right below the water line. there are also quite a few spider web cracks on the keel - almost looks like concrete leaching through. Are these difficult to repair and should this scare me away from the boat?

Answer: The keel on a 16 is fiberglass with concrete inside for ballast. Small blisters are easy to fix and large blisters are more difficult. Large blisters may continue to leak indicating a wet hull laminate. If the blisters stop leaking, the hull is normally dry. Cracks are the result of impact damage to the keel. Repairs may be expensive.


Answer: The Com-Pac 23D has teak cap boards around the cockpit as standard. I'm sure they are currently available from Com-Pac. I don't think shipping will be a problem.

22Sep10 Message: Can the 1983 reconditioned 16' foot you have for sale for 4000 be painted to look like the green 16 you show and I click on to see the 19'. Dark green hull and dark brown bottom paint. What year is the 2.5 hp motor.

Answer: We normally restore "Mark II" 16s, 19s and 23s. We think they are the best value for our customers. We are looking for a Mark I 23 for our new pilothouse project. It normally takes us 6 to 8 months to restore a 23 and maybe 4 months to restore a 16. We like to think our restored boats are worth half the price of a new Com-Pac boat. All boats that are over 20 years old are candidates for restoration. We normally buy a used boat and restore it for a specific customer. The other restorations are normally sold before they ever get to our "For Sale" list. We don't currently have any restored 16s or 23s on the yard. We may have a pretty Mark II 16 coming soon with a new blue hull, black bottom paint, boom tender system and lots of options. We will put it on the Web site when it arrives. The old motor for the 83 model runs well, but it's an 80s model.

22Sep10 Message: I am getting older and it is becoming more difficult to get into and out of my boat and into a dinghy. Would you suggest a stern-mounted ladder or are there portable ones which would work. What kind is best.


Answer: I like the stern-mounted ladder made by Com-Pac. I just ordered one for my boat with teak pads on the stainless steel rungs. I have been in the water twice during my boating career. You can pull the ladder down from the water if required. The pads are easy on your feet and the ladder looks good on the boat. It can save your life.

19Sep10 Message: Do you have a price list for restoration of a 23'. Presently on a scale of 1-10, 1 being the worst, I'd give this boat about an 8. I would like a complete restoration less rigging. I have all the wood eye brows, tiller etc. Id like the old bottom paint removed and hull painted green with the black bottom like your pics show. Please advise.

Answer: We like to exchange boats or take a trade on a restored Com-Pac 23. The selling price for a restored 23 is about $18K. That includes hull paint, bottom paint, cushions and all the detail work that needs to be done. A restored 23 with modified rigging (Mast Tender or gaff) for trailing cost more. You can expect to get the market price for your boat.

We plan on building a restored 23 with standing headroom soon. Our boat will be similar to the factory Pilot House 23. We will post a working picture on "What's New" today.

18Sep10 Message: Ref. the last persons question, would the same apply to a CP23. And does it harm the boat any by sailing with just a genoa. Thanks

Answer: Reefing on a 23 is the same. Sailing with only a headsail works well on all Com-Pacs. The 23 does best with a genoa because the center of effort is a little more towards the stern with a genoa. A 155% genoa curves around the shrouds making the angle to the wind better than with a jib. A headsail only boat will sail as fast as a boat with 2 sails when the wind is above 12 knots. It will not point as high as a boat with 2 sails. I use a headsail only when I sail a standard 23 with furling gear because I'm lazy. If I need to point high, I add the main. The difference between a 19 and 23 is the 23 needs to reduce power in 18 or more knots of wind. The 19 can go higher because it's a stiffer boat. The 19 has the same ballast ratio, but less sail area for its size and harder chines.

15Sep10 Message: Hey Keith, Hope you are doing well. Can you tell me the best way to reef the main on a 19? Mine has the reef points in the sail but that is all. Don't want to damage anything doing it wrong. What do I need? Thanks!

Answer: You need a hook at the tack with a block, eye strap and cleat at the other end of the boom. The first thing you do when you reef is connect you’re topping lift and adjust the mainsail sheet to control the boom over the cockpit. Then slack the mainsail halyard to connect the reef grommet to the hook at the tack. Retention the halyard next. The next step is to pull a reef line from the eye strap on one side of the boom up through the aft grommet in the sail to the block on the other side. Secure the line at the cleat on the same side.

A good thing about 19s is that you almost never need to reef. Changing from the genoa to the jib is about all the reefing a 19 ever needs.

11Sep10 Message: Any experience/thoughts on performance with a three blade propeller for a Com Pac 27 with a Universal 12? Would there be a benefit in areas as Beaufort Inlet?

Answer: A three bladed propeller is smoother than a two bladed propeller. It isn't any faster and I doubt if it would be better in the Beaufort Inlet area.

22Aug10 Message: I have owned this boat (21' Windjammer) since 1961. Have always toyed with the Idea of a small stand-up cuddy. The problem, is the cabin or cuddy design MUST fit the Design!

Answer: I do a computer picture to see what a boat looks like before I build anything. I just did one on an old Hermann catboat. My Hermann could be a restored and modified catboat or it could be a small trawler. I think I have decided on a catboat restoration after doing a computer picture. We have tooling for 2 cabins (houses) for sailboats. One is small and fits the Com-Pac 16 and the other is larger and fits the Com-Pac Sun Cat. I didn't like our Sun Cat house on the Hermann after doing a computer picture. We also have lots of Horizon Cat parts in stock. A mast tender mast, oval ports and a boom gallows will look good on this old catboat

14Aug10 Message: Keith, I just read a question from Nov. 3, 2009, asking about the Torqeedo Electric Motor. I would advise NOT buying this product. I purchased the most powerful Torqeedo engine to move my Sun Cat around mainly on an inland lake. It was worthless in any wind over 3 mph! Because of the motor's lack of power, I drifted into weeds and got caught in all sorts of uncomfortable situations. It was a disaster. Exasperated, I took it back to West Marine for a full refund. I then learned that my Torqeedo was the 3rd one returned in 2 weeks! Torqeedo claims this engine is equivalent to a 6hp gas motor. No way! 1hp was more like it.

I am now a happy camper with a 4hp Mercury that moves my Sun Cat with ease through wind and chop, and starts up easily.

Answer: Thanks for the report.

27Jul10 Message: is raising the mast on the 23' a 2 person job? Expected time required?

Answer: It takes 2 people to raise the mast. To get a 23 rigged on the trailer takes about an hour.

20Jul10 Message: i want to remove the spreader and backstay on my 19 and install the masttender system. can i do this myself?

Answer: You can, but it's a big job. We have found that the Mast Tender on the 19 isn't needed. We think the short mast is easy to raise without a backstay and with the mast resting in our mast stand. We use the 16 boom tender system (boom hardware only) on the 19s if you want to carry the sail in a sailcover under the mast. The 19 boom can move in the sail slide groove and that's why you don't need the boom tender deck hardware. The picture below has the deck hardware. We moved the upper chain plates back on the hull (you won't need new parts). The lowers stay are in there original position. We can ship a mast stand for a 19 via UPS. You have to have a stern pulpit to make it work.

6Jul10 Message: I have the Compac factory's blue hull. It was in pristine condition when I took delievery of this used boat, but I've gotten a few scratches that go all the way through the gelcoat to the white. Is there some touch-up product and procedure to fix these cosmetic problems when they occur? Thanks, as always, for your sage advice.

Answer: Buff the gel-coat and they may disappear. If they don't disappear, fill the scratches with a coloring agent and buff again. The coloring agent can be paint if it matches. We talked about using a colored wax in our DIY section on colored hulls. That article may help. Any dark colored wax will work for small scratches. The amount of work depends on the size of the scratch.

6Jul10 Message: I want to put a boom vang on my 1968 built Clark Mills Suncat 16'. Can you explain what this takes? Thanks.

Answer: West Marine sells a vang kit. The small kit should work, but you may want to buy the next size up. The vang connects to the boom and the base of the mast. Most people that race sailboats have to have a vang to race downwind. Most people that cruise and day-sail do not use them very often.

1Jul10 Message: Stumbled into your site tonight quite by accident. Can't wait to explore it all. The trawler conversion on the 23 has been a "day dream" thing for several months, and I had no idea such a project was in the works. Are more photos available, or do you have one on your yard (in the shop)? Haven't seen ya'll in years. Hope to visit Richlands soon.

Answer: We do have a Sun Cat conversion on the yard that's not in production. We also have a Com-Pac 16 conversion that is in production and we have one on the yard. The factory's plan for the 23 is a new 23 motor sailor. A motor sailor house transplant on an older 23 will make a great trawler conversion. I think the economy has to get better before we see any major changes at Com-Pac. Come see us when you can.

29Jun10 Message: I need to tighten the packing gland a little on my prop shaft. The fitting seems to be some knurled/notched pattern and I have no clue to what type of tool to use that will fit properly. Thanks.

Answer: We have a Project on our DIY link that explains the procedure. The tools used are pipe wrenches or special tools that can be purchased at West Marine.

29Jun10 Message: Keith. Thanks for your help with past questions. Your guidance has been very helpful. I have another. The factory installed Jib line cam cleats have lost their (what appear to be white plastic bearings). So, Each cam cleat nees to be replaced. The problem is the back sides of these units and the nuts that hold them in place must be under several layers of fiberglass. When I go in the cabin and look to the area where the back side of each unit (One on left and right) should be seen, there is only fiberglass. It appears to be a pretty substantial and supportive part of the construction of the boat. Should I just leave these old ones in place and locate new ones a little more forward on the deck (where it would be easy to access screw and nut)? Or is there a way to take action on the existing cams and replace using the old location. IT is the encasement by the fiberglass construction that has me stumped. Any suggestions on how you guys replace old jib cleats?

Answer: The nuts are hidden by foam and glass sheets. The easy way to replace the cleats is to cut the original bolts. Make the bolt area smooth and install new cam cleats over the old area. Use screws to install the new cam cleats. Com-Pac used nuts and bolts because that works for them during the build process. Screws will work fine for the jib sheet loads the second time around.

24Jun10 Message: Keith, How about another dumb question from an amature? Transitioning from a sloop to a catboat I am not sure how high the boom should be on the mast. With a sloop you made sure the main was all the way to the masthead. I have not seen anything that covers this very elementary point. Thanks.

Answer: There could be several reasons for taking the sloop's main all the way to the masthead. The big reason in most cases is to have enough room on the mast to tension the luff and get some room under the boom for your head. The main's position on a Picnic Cat mast isn't important. The tension between the throat and the tack is important (more wind, more tension and less wind, less tension). The halyard positions the throat (same as the head on a sloop) and the downhaul tensions the tack. The boom should be located (about) at the mast hinge after you tension the sail.

22Jun10 Message: My questions today are about cleaning up and making look good, the rudder and rudder housing. What is the best way to transform the rudder assembly to its vibrant black "new look". Special Paint? Suggestions. Also, what is the best way to get the rudder looking like a new one. Is fine steel wool the answer, or special polishing compounds. Your renovations and restorations always look great. Just trying to get my 16 to look as good once again. Thanks.

Answer: We take the rudder apart leaving the part that's attached to the boat on the boat. Tape around that part for painting. We hang the rudder housing from a line and spray paint with a flat black paint. A spray paint made for outdoor use is desirable. The rudder blade is cleaned and etched with an electric sander. Use a sandpaper grit that will cut the surface and leave a good appearance.

22Jun10 Message: Keith, Thanks again for the great website and your willingness to share your knowledge. I was wondering if you knew of a good alternative to the Hutchins ladder for the PC?

Answer: Sorry. The Hutchins ladder is the only one that fits the boat and looks good to my eye.

14Jun10 Message: I just bought this 1965 built Suncat. The mast end looks like a small round piece of metal which fits into the mast step on the forepeak. The fibreglass around the mast step has been repaired with epoxy and screws. With just the stays, is this sufficient to secure the mast and was this the way it was designed?

Answer: I think your Sun Cat was built by Clark Mills. We did have one other person in TN building Sun Cats during the 60s and 70s. The mast base has to be supported by something other than the deck. Most boats have a metal pole support under the mast on the inside. This support would go from the deck to the keel or to some other load-bearing surface. A 2/4 stud on the inside will work.

11Jun10 Message: I am very impressed on the Trawler conversion of the CP16. As the CP19 is difficult to rig and launch single handed for an older sailor, I am considering selling my CP19 in favor of a Downeast/Trawler type of boat. But this may be a better alternative for the CP19. Is this feasible and what would be the turn time on a project like this? Ball park cost + repower? Also what about the ballast, is it retained, reduced or removed? Thanks.

Answer: The easy way to change boats is to trade-in the 19. We take Com-Pac trades on Trawler conversions. The Com-Pac 16 Trawler conversion cost $18,000 including a new trailer and a new 9.9 Yamaha motor with remote controls. The ballast is retained. Build time from start to finish is about 4 months. We are building trawlers all the time and if you select one that's in work, the build time will be less.

Building a trawler conversion on a 19 hull would be too expensive. The first boat built cost 3 or 4 times more than subsequent boats. Design, building templates and obtaining parts for a new boat takes time. We normally spend more than a year creating our first boat.

3Jun10 Message: My Cam Cleat for the main sheet is not springing back and locking well. Want to replace, but getting to the nut and backing plate is nearly impossible for an adult. Any trick? Or do you cut off the stainless screw heads and just drill new holes and forget the backing plate. Seem like they must have installed the cams prior to assembing the top section. Got any easy ways to replace the Cam Cleat. Also, is there a West Marine Part number you would recommend.

We miss having your annex in Garner.

Answer: I also miss having the shop in Raleigh and Garner. The easy way to replace the main sheet cam cleat is to install an access port. West Marine sells them and they come with instructions. Cut the hole with a jig saw and make sure you tape around the pencil mark on the outside. The tape saves any damage to the gel-coat from the saw. The port is centered in the space between the cockpit's upper edge and the aft hatch. This will give you access to all of the parts that are connected to the transom. Any cam cleat will work that handles 1/4 inch line.

28May10 Message: The Spinlock cam cleats on my Suncat don't seem to work well. The one on the portside for the downhaul doesn't grip at all. On some forum I read complaints from others about these cleats and I thought there were alternatives suggested, but I can't find the forum exchange on this subject. I'd like to replace with something that works better and (if possible) would fit the existing holes in the cabin roof where the Spinlocks are attached. Any suggestions?

Answer: You are right, they don't work very well. A more expensive jam cleat would work better, but I think it would be too large for the boat. I have considered a standard cleat. I like to pull a halyard next to a cleat and take a turn when needed. You may find a good-looking standard cleat with the same hole pattern. If you find another jam cleat that works (not too big), filling the hole under the new cleat works well. If you use a white filler, the hole inside the boat will almost disappear.

20May10 Message: I have a spiderweb like surface cracks on the starboard side of my boat. I tried to fill them in with crack sealer to keep water out. What is a good fix for this situation?

Answer: Most spiderweb cracks are cosmetic. We call these cracks grazing. The fiberglass flexed or bent with an impact and the gel-coat didn't. Water is not normally a problem with grazing. You repair the damage by making the cracks larger, filling the cracks with filler and finish the job with new gel-coat. Most people let professionals do this type of repair.

6May10 Message: Keith, I have followed your website for a number of years and greatly appreciate all that you do not only for the Compac family, but for sailing enthusists in general. I am considering two options for my boat, as I am getting older and am not as agile (health issues) as I once was. The boat has not been used for over 11 years, being tarped over with the boat/trailer on blocks. The ramps here in the Tidewater region are not as steep as back in Pennsylvania (Lake Nockamixon) and trying to get the boat launched here was impossible for me (3 ft. tongue extension and all. Option 1 is to clean/wax the boat, take some pictures, then email them to you for your price/brokerage estimate and whatever arrangements need to be made. Option 2 is to keep the boat, have your yard remove some of the concrete ballast, lower the trailer axle, shorten the mast and sail and then motor/sail her. This would be a middle-ground between the designed configuration and your trawler design. I would much appreciate your feeling on both options. Thanks,again, for your servic,advice and enthusiasm to the sailing fraternity!

Answer: Thanks for your kind words. What makes the 16 a great boat is the ballast. It's the only small sailboat available with 40% of its total weight in ballast. That said, my solution to the difficult problem of sailors getting old is the trawler. Getting old happens to everyone if you’re lucky. If you decided many years ago that you are a water person, then keeping a boat (used or unused) is important. I think I own 5 boats that I call my boat. I work on them and I think about them, but I use them very little. Thinking about your next adventure is almost as good and doing it. I think I'm going to the St. Johns in the fall.

Option 1 is exchanging your boat for money. I don't like that solution. Option 2 would cost too much. I think we are back to money again. The solution to launching the boat from the trailer is bottom painting and a slip. Many landowners have shallow slips that are available at small cost. Finding the ideal small slip for your boat is hard to do, but worth while. Most slips that can accommodate a boat with 4 feet of draft are hard to find. A slip for a 16 should be easy to find. Most marinas have several slips that they can't rent because they are too shallow. A 16 can touch the bottom in a slip and that's OK. Some boats have made their own hole for the keel with time. I like the routine of in the water in the summer and on the trailer during the winter. Boats in the water can have furling gear and that solves the reduced sail problem. Sailing with only the jib works for me.

I think I'm going to let my children handle my boat problems at the appropriate time.

25Apr10 Message: We just purchased an '85 Compac 19/2 yesterday and I have several questions. 1-What is the "u bolt" at the head of the mast for? 2-I've seen VHF radios installed in the headliner. How thick is the cabin roof and bulkheads? 3-The anchor locker doesn't drain anywhere. Doesn't this make for a smelly cabin? 4-A stern rail with an opening would make reboarding from the ladder easier. Have you done any modifications like this? 5-Were is the best area to install a "shoot thru the hull" transducer?

Answer: 1-The "u bolt" is not standard. If it's located about 3 feet above the deck, it may be a whisker pole connection point. 2-They vary. Remove an installed bolt and measure or if you use a 1/2 inchcrew, it should work fine. 3-Don't put the anchor rode away wet. Flake the rode on deck to dry. 4-Climbing over the stern rail works pretty well. The problem with the ladder is it's hard on the feet. The rumble seat works well on the 19, but makes using the ladder more difficult. 5-The small storage area under the forward cushion.

This is a good place to do an add-on answer. All shoal draft sailboats have short keels. Sailors that own these boats need to reduce keel contact with the trailer when they recover their boats. All Com-Pac boats should float off the trailer when they are launched. The water level on the trailer should be noted at this time. When you pick up your boat, the trailer should be "less deep" to take advantage of the keel guides. The keel should hit the first roller between the keel guides. Using the winch, the boat will come up and over the rollers. You can feel the keel location without seeing the keel. Some people put straps between the bunks and the keel guides. The straps will help keep your keel off the metal parts of the trailer.

24Apr10 Message: Hi. I've always wanted to learn to sail, so I bought a used Com-pac 16. But turns out I haven't a clue how to rig it or put it in the water, and no how to sail it. No foolin'! Any idea where I might get some info on this? I've got several learn to sail books. thank you.

Answer: Many Com-Pac 16 owners have worried about the same thing. Keep in mind that most of them have become lifelong sailors. You read your books and really look at all those sailing pictures. That's the path to becoming a sailor. Becoming a sailor comes slowly. You can get to be an old person and still have something to learn. That's what makes sailing so interesting. Join our club and see if we have a member that's close to your location. Learning comes faster if you sail with a friend.

22Apr10 Messge: Looking for the Capacity Plate info on the ComPac 19 (1990) - HP, # of Persons, Total Weight Capacity and Person Weight Capacity. Thanks.

Answer: Power boats require capacity plates. Sailboats are excluded from that requirment.

14Apr10 Message: Where can I find a replacement mast for a 1983 Com-Pac Yacht 16 and about how much would it cost?

Answer: Dwyer Aluminum Mast Co. makes the mast. A dealer for Dwyer in your area or the Com-Pac Factory will drop ship a mast. A mast coming from Dwyer to North Carolina cost about $700.

11Apr10 Message: I'd like to purchase a tarp that fits my Suncat (cabin model) when the mast is down. Do you know of any source that has tailor-made such a tarp? Thanks, as always, for your helpful site.

Answer: We think a Sun Cat cover has to be a custom cover that's fitted to the boat. We build them out of sailcover material with reinforcements along the centerline. They connect to boat with common sense fastens at the rub rail. A blue tarp from the hardware store is the most inexpensive cover.

8Apr10 Message: Hi, I've really enjoyed you're site. Great information. I'm hoping you can help with a compac 19 I'm starting to restore. It has sat with water in the bilge for quite some time but I have it fairly dry now. However, when I ripped up the carpet on the floor infront of the bilge I found that the surface under the carpet seems loose and delaminated. I'm wondering whats under this layer. It seems that I should rip up the entire loose figerglass "skin" but don't want to get in over my head. Can you tell me what the structure is under the floor. Similarly I'm wondering what is inside/ under the wood covering the v-berth? I've looked for sectional drawings for the boat online but no luck. It looks like there is a large styrofoam block under the cockpit floor. Are these other areas also filled with foam, or some other material that I should assume is now water saturated? Any help is much appreciated. Thanks for your great site!

Answer: The surface under the rug is suppose to be loose. The factory puts a layer of glass over the concrete ballast. They need to glue the carpet down and glass doesn't stick to the concrete. About the only thing that will is epoxy resin. Sticking epoxy to cement is still only a maybe. I would put a new rug down with contact cement and stop there. Inside the bunks have foam installed. You can see the little square wood covers where the factory injected the foam. The injected foam will not hold water. It's the type of foam that's made for marine use. It will give some flotation capabilities, but it is used in the 19 for structural purposes. The foam blocks support the cockpit floor.

8Apr10 Message: Hi Kieth. I want to install a radio with the antenna on top of the mast. My question is where to put the antenna cable through the cabin top of my Com-Pac 19. The electrical connection seems to occupy the only reasonable space. Apparently it is necessary to run the cable through the top and through a cable mount, then connect the mast cable and the one that has passed through the cabin top with a barrel connector to connect male fittings on the ends of the two cables. There seems to be no fitting that works like the electrical connector. Thanks for your help!

Answer: You’re right, you don't use a connector like the electrical connector. You use a through deck fitting that's made for a VHF cable. As you screw the fitting together, it will squeeze the fitting gasket and the cable together for a waterproof connection. West Marine sells the fitting. Some people with older 19s pass their cables through the forward hatch. I think the first solution is the best.

22Mar10 Message: I recenty purchased this boat and it's my first (except a sailing dingy I had as a kid). Problem is the trailer is WAY too much for this boat. I can make it work but before putting in too much $$ and work I wanted to know if you have a trailer for the Com-Pac 16 and what you would sell it for?


Answer: The best price for a Com-Pac 16 trailer is a Magic Tilt trailer made for your boat. It's the same trailer that the Com-Pac sells for their new Legacy sailboat. Since you live in FL, the best way to buy one is to order it from any Marine Dealer that sells Magic Tilt trailers. Have them order a Com-Pac 16 trailer.

20Mar10 Message: Has anyone ever installed an electric anchor windlass on a Compac Horizon Cat or know of anyone who has. I know an anchor windlass on a 20' boat seems like overkill. However I single hand a lot and at my age I don't always relish going on the foredeck in strong winds or choppy seas when I am by myself.

Thanks for any information on this subject.

Answer: We have installed a windlass on a Com-Pac 27. Most windlass installations are operated from a position close to the windlass. Foot switches installed in the deck. You need to keep an eye on the operation while it's working. If you can keep an eye on the windlass from the cockpit, a Horizon Cat installation should work. A small rope (line) windlass would be my choice. A chain windlass would work better, but 150 feet of chain would be too heavy for the bow of the boat.

18Mar10 Message: You have stated a couple of times that the pre-1979 ComPac sails were made from too light weight sailcloth. What weight should be used in the sails? Is the standard 2.9 oz cloth used by SuperSailmakers what I should get?

Answer: Super Sailmakers knows the correct weight for your 16. They use same weight cloth for all Com-Pac 16s. Back in the old days, the textile people didn't make the right cloth for the 16. Times have changed. I think you will be happy with Super Sailmakers sails and their prices.

18Mar10 Message: I plan to separate the deck from my hull on my 1979 CP-16 in order to rebuild the bunks, etc. I realize I have to drill out the rivets. Can you tell me how to separate the hulls after I do this? I assume they have been glued together with 3M 5200 (or something) and that I will have to cut through this with a sawzall or Dremel Multi-Max. Thanks for the advice and your super web site.

Answer: We use a large knife to run down the hull to deck joint. It's only caulking and easy to cut. Cut the drains with a hacksaw and use a PVC splice when you replace the deck. Try not to damage the drain connections when you do your saw cut. Remove the one big screw under the mast tabernacle that screws into the compression post. Lift off with 2 men, one on each side. The 79 has a wood cockpit support under the cockpit. It shouldn't be a problem because it's not connected to the deck.

15Mar10 Message: i am looking for a decent com-pac 16 or 19 as my first boat since joining the local sail club. i just think they seem more like a sailboat than the hunters and catalinas out there. they do seem hard to find. any ideas on where to find one? thanks.

Answer: We have 2 16s for sale. Check out the used boats on our Web site. The 19s are few and far between. If you want something new, the Legacy is a new 16 and the Eclipse is a new 19.

15Mar10 Message: Hi again, Keith. Thanks so much for your terrific website. QUESTION: Can I successfully use a short shaft outboard on my CP 16/1?? Or should I go with a long shaft. The top of my motor mount, when in the down position, is abouptrpt 14" above the water line stripe. FYI, 90% of my sailing will be in lakes here in the south and the rest will be in the Chesapeake Bay and Great Lakes. Thanks for the reply. Regards.

Answer: The recommended motor for a 16 is a short shaft (15 inch). A long shaft will work, but it will drag in the up position when sailing. The recommended power is 4 hp or less. If you use a larger motor, the boat at idle will be going too fast.

15Mar10 Message: I have a Horizon Cat. I am attempting to install a Hawkeye Depth Sounder with an In Hull Transducer. My question is, Is the Horizon Cats Hull solid fiberglass with no core? If so where is the best place in the hull to install the transducer? Has your comapny ever installed In Hull Transducers on a Horizon Cat? I am beginning to think the hull may be to thick for the in hull transducer to work properly. Thanks for your reply.

Answer: The Horizon Cat hull is solid fiberglass. We have installed transducers in the hull under the floor in the forward cabin. The rug on the floor covers a removable panel for installation purposes. Ease the edge of the rug up for access. A transducer works well in that position.

15Mar10 Message: I am adding spreaders to a ComPac16/1. Do you know the correct location on the mast for these?

Answer: The 16 Mark II has spreaders located half way up the mast. I think the half way point will work with a Mark I.

14Mar10 Message: Hi,Keith. I just bought a 1979 Com-Pac 16. Love the boat. It is in great shape, with gelcoat only lightly oxidized. The interior is another story. The coffin berths are rotted and the previous owner had ripped out the forward two feet on each side and started a sloppy repair. I plan to fix things properly but want to know what most owners do. Do most rebuild things to the original design or do something different, like rip it all out and just put cushions in? Any advise you can give would be greatly appreciated. Lastly, have you had any thoughts of a national Com-Pac outing this summer? Thanks.

Answer: The 79 was the last 16 with a wood core in the deck. The hatch slides leaked on those boats and the core in the da underneath suffered. We fix both problems by removing the deck and doing repairs to the deck and the bunks. Two men can pick up the deck after the rivets have been removed. The drains also need to be cut and a screw under the tabernacle has to be removed. The deck can stay outside during the repairs, but the hull needs dry storage during the repairs. We don't use cushions on the inside anymore. Com-Pac designed the Legacy with an indoor/outdoor carpet on the bunks. That carpet works better than cushions if you add a sleeping bag when needed.

A national Com-Pac outing would need an individual or individuals that have the time to organize an event. Years ago we had 2 clubs in FL and our local club in NC. Jean and Gary Sigvaldsen organized the NC club and had events on the second weekend of every month. They ran the club for 20 years. The Com-Pac factory and The Sailboat Company supported the NC club and their activities. I'm sure it was the same way in FL. I remember attending Com-Pac races in FL that was supported by the Clearwater Club and the Factory. The Factory provided all the hot dogs that we could eat. I didn't win any races in FL. Those FL sailors were really good.

12Mar10 Message: Looking into getting a bimini for my PC, do you know the dimensions? Thanks! I love the double Bimini! But will be doing just one for now.

Answer: We don't have the dimensions. We buy our Com-Pac biminis from a company in FL. Sorry.

11Mar10 Message: The concrete in my keel is wet, very wet. I have noticed in heavy seas (4 foot waves) I take in more water. But I ALWAYS have water. There are no visible cracks or damage to the keel. This was also a problem to the previous owner because the glass above the keel had holes drilled in it and then seeled with 5200. Is this a common problem? Do you have suggedtions?

Answer: I think you have a leak. The concrete is the lowest point inn n in a 16 and that's were the water goes when you have a leak. I would look at the trailer eye and your cockpit drains. The concrete makes some water on its own because it gets cold and warm with the weather changes during the day. I would use dehumidifier crystals to reduce moisture content in the boat during the spring and fall in North Carolina.

7Mar10 Message: I'm a new owner of this boat. What upgrades are consider to be the best for the cost? It has the newe IDA (?) rudder and jib tracks.

Answer: For a 1980 16 I would consider rudder bearings, Tiller Tamer and maybe a new motor mount. Most older 16s need a new hatch board and the leaks repaired from the overhead hatch slides screws. Com-Pac didn't caulk the screws. If the cushions are shot, I would replace the cushions with indoor/outdoor rug material like the new Legacy. The paint should be falling off on the inside and this can be repaired by removing the loose paint and painting with a good latex paint. Other more expensive options like a genoa, bimini and a mast raising system are user specific.

25Feb10 Message: Just paid too much for '75 ComPac 16.' Is putting a centerboard in and changing to Gaff rig putting more money after bad? Is the centerboard worth it pointing up? Do you have complete Gaff rig available and if so what would the cost be? Thank you so much!

Answer: Installing a centerboard and changing to a gaff rig would cost lots of money. The centerboard will give you an additional 5 degrees of upwind pointing ability. It also will slow you down on other points of sail from the additional drag. The 16 and the Picnic Cat use the same size mast. You can mix and match spars and sails to make a different boat. The negatives with the centerboard are the installation cost and the added maintenance if the boat stays in the water. The positives with the gaff rig are the short mast and storing the sail on the boat if you trailer. The gaff is a more complex rig (one more spar), but it is self-reefing when the wind increases. The original 1975 16 sails were bad sails. They were too thin and couldn't hold a shape. All early (before 79) 16s need new sails.

15Feb10 Message: I'm looking for Compac 16 cockpit tent design ideas for living and cooking area. I plan to make it but could be open to a pre made one. Thanks for any help on this

Answer: We sell a Com-Pac 16 Bimini for $575 plus shipping. This bimini can be shipped where it can be assembled and installed by the user. Other powerboat bimini sold by discount houses may cost less. Look for a size that will fit your boat. You can also adjust the height by cutting the leg tubes.

A tent can be made by using a cloth over the boom. I would use common sense faster on the edge. Cut the cloth, sew the edges, adjust your topping lift, main sheet and a slug stop in the mast to position the boom, connect the edges and you are done. Sailcover cloth or a light canvas will work best.

5Feb10 Message: I do not like the way my sink drains into the bilge on my 23. I am considering installing a thru-hull either on the side above the water line or in the stern. I would appreciate your input on this. I appreciate your website and all the information you provide.

Answer: I have a 23 on my yard that has the sink drain installed in the hull. The through hull is located at the boot stripe and the installation also has a seacock. All early 23s had drains in the boot stripe until a child pulled the drain hose off the through hull and the boat leaked when it healed. That's when Com-Pac moved the sink drain to the bilge.

24Jan10 Message: I need to replace the boom gallows and two metal support tubes that a tree took out last summer. I assume that I can order the parts from Compac, but how difficult is it to remove the existing vertical tubes from the hull? Will I need special tools or solvents to unseal the tubes from the deck? Put another way, am I better off hiring the local Hutchins dealer to do the physical work for the repair? I want to avoid cracking the deck. I was very lucky that the tree didn't hurt the hull, and don't want to cause a problem by doing the repair without the right tools. Wish you were in Wisconsin so I could have you folks do this repair, but it's a long haul to North Carolina.

Answer: No special tools are required. The problem with a repair is the tiller horn must be removed to access the right spot and that's hard to do. Most people can't go through seat hatch to hold the nuts on the boom gallows. We have been using a Sun Cat boom gallows on older 16s. The way we get the tube foot to fit the deck is we cut the tubes in half. We rotate the bottom half until it fit's the deck and has a vertical position. The problem with this trick is that the 1 inch vertical tube has a seam inside and that seam has to be removed for the 7/8 inch splice tube to fit. You only have to remove about 1 and 1/2 inch of seam. We use a 7/8 inch drill bit to remove the seam. Com-Pac uses a real rimmer tool to do the same thing. You might be able to use the old tube bottoms and the new tube tops and not remove the nuts and bolts that go through the deck.

If the posts are not bent, the horizontal attachment points can be bent back into shape. They are easy to bend. Good luck with the repair.

19Jan10 Message: I have heavy condensation collecting on the hull that is eventually working to the liner and wood. This is on the north side of the boat only (sitting east-west in slip). Suggestions?

Answer: It's the North Carolina weather. In the winter time we go from cold at night to hot during the day and your cabin becomes a still. West Marine sells dehumidifier crystals and I have heard that they also sell them at Wal-Mart. The crystals will bring down the moisture content during the winter months.

22Dec09 Message: what parts are needed to convert 16 to boomtender system? thanks. love the website.

Answer: The most important part of the boomtender system is the mast gallows. It carri the mast in the down position. The boom folds next to the mast on standard Mark I boats, but you don't have enough room for a sail and a sail cover between the two. If you don't need that feature, you stop there. The other part needed to get the room for a sail and sailcover is a modified tabernacle. It also provides the fold feature on Mark II and newer boats.

25Nov09 Message: I'm restoring a Com-Pac 16 MK I for maiden launch Spring 2010. At the head of the mainsail that came with the boat is a pair of triangular aluminum support plates, 6"x5"x4", marked "Howe & Bainbridge". The plates have been eaten by metal worms & the rivets are falling out. Do you stock these plates or know where I can find them? Also looking to buy a set of good used or new main & jib sails, plus other items for this boat. Thanks for your help. Best regards.

Answer: We buy our Com-Pac sails from Super Sailmakers. They have a Web site at They have lots of experience with Com-Pac sails. They will also help you with a headboard for your existing sail. Com-Pac sells parts direct to Com-Pac owners. Call them or send them an email for a quote on anything else you may need. Keep in mind that 1979 or older Com-Pac 16 sails were made too thin. We consider them junk.

21Nov09 Message: Hi, Keith. What is your take on the Com-Pac Sunday Cat and the Mastendr "Plus" rigging system? Have you seen one? I assume that all three versions of the Sun Cat sail the same because they have identical hulls and sails. Occasionally sleeping in the cockpit with a span across the footwell and under a "summer cabin" seems like it would be much more spacious than the cabin model Sun Cat. Interested in reading your opinion. Thanks for your great writing here.

Answer: I haven't sold a Sunday Cat yet. I think you are right, the different Sun Cats will sail about the same. I really like the master tender system on any boat. We installed one on an O'Day. The Sunday Cat is the right boat for you if you want a boat that can carry lots of people on a day sail. I put 6 adults on a standard Sun Cat with 5 in the cockpit. The boat was down in the stern, but it still sailed well. The Sunday Cat would have balanced the load better. When we sleep in a Sun Cat, someone normally sleeps in the cockpit. Our trawler based on the Sun Cat hull and deck will use the cockpit for the additional room that's needed at night. All the Sun Cats will sleep 2 people in relative comfort. The market for used open boats is smaller than it is for cabin boats. I think the re-sale value for a cabin boat will be better.

16Nov09 Message: Im looking at purchasing a compac 25, 2000. Its an outboard with tiller. How do you like the 25 in general. Is the electric motor lift a good product. How would general maintenance compare to say a compac 23 outboard.

Answer: I owned 2 Com-Pac 25s as personal boats and liked them both. Maintenance on the 25 will be greater than a 23 because of size. The motor mount on the 25 can be a problem and I have had some people convert to diesel. I think the other differences between the two boats are more important. The 25 is less portable than a 23. It is big enough to be considered a slip boat. I would take a 25 on a week cruise to Ocracoke Island and the standing headroom in the cockpit and cabin wals outstanding during the week. The same trip using a 23 was not that good. There is no standing headroom under the bimini when it rains. The 23 is a better day boat and cheaper to own. Both boats sail about the same, but a 23 would more likely win a race. The 25 has a big J measurement (distance from the mast to the bow) that I don't like. Pointing is a little more difficult with the 25.

7Nov09 Message: I have two questions. 1) What size are the Zincs on the centerboard on my Horizion Cat. I need to purchase new ones I think. I keep my boat in a slip (salt Water) and I heard I would need to replace them often. I just don't know what size to ask for when I buy new ones. 2) What is the easiest way to replace them. If I put the boat on the trailer I can't drop the board to get to the Zincs. What method do you suggest to remove and replace the Zincs?

Answer: We stock the smallest RUDDER zinc that West Marine sells. That's the replacement zinc for 16s and the Sun Cats that we replace most often. The Horizon Cat should be the same. The only way to replace centerboard zincs is the pick up the boat with a lift and drop the centerboard. Most people have their zincs replaced when they have their bottom painted. A zinc is designed to prevent the galvanic corrosion of your centerboard from other electrical systems in your area.

3Nov09 Message: Just purchased a used Sun Cat in excellent condition but will probably need to replace the outboard engine soon. I'm interested in the Torqueedo 810 electic motor in lieu of an outboard gasoline engine because its very light and we only need to motor when docking or launching the boat. Based on your highly informative website, I figure you're the best person to ask for an opinion regarding this alternative source for powering a sailboat. Thanks.

Answer: Most of our experience is with gasoline outboards. We have installed a few electric motors on 16s when they were located on lakes that didn't allow gasoline outboards. Small Craft Advisor had a good article on the Torqueedo motor some months ago. I would check with them for an old issue. Our electric’s worked well in light wind conditions.

2Nov09 Message: I own a Compac Horizion Cat. Do you know of any reason why a "HawkEye" D10D Depth Sounder with in Hull Glue in Transducer would not work in my boat? I understand that if a hull has a wood or foam core the in Hull Transducer may not work. I believe the Horizion does not have a wood or foam core in the hull. Please give me your opinion.

Answer: The Horizon Cat hull is all glass. We normally install "in hull transducers" with a silicone sealant unless the depth sounder instructions say you can't use silicone.

25Oct09 Message: I am looking to buy a 1980 compac 16. You state in one of your articles, "This boat has been a dry boat and the inside is excellent. It had the standard deck core problems associated with those early years,.." What should I be looking for when I view this boat. I am totally new to sailing. Thank you.

Answer: The 1980 Model didn't have a wood core. That was the year that Com-Pac changed to a resin and glass bead core. The same material used as a core in bowling balls. Most problems with that year boat will be the result of misuse. You will be able to identify those problems with a good visual inspection.

21Oct09 Message: Can you convert my Compac 16 to a trawler with an outboard motor? If so, approximate cost and delivery requested.

Answer: We can convert your 16 to a trawler. The approximate cost for a Mark II conversion is $10K. That price includes new paint, motor, wheel, controls, sliding side windows and an overhead hatch. We need approximately 6 months from start to finish.

6Oct09 Message: Hi, I just picked up an 87 and am interested in a mast gallows. There is a bimini installed and when not in use is in the way whether you stow if aft or fwd. What is the price of the gallows and is that something that can be shipped. thanks

Answer: The Com-Pac 16 gallows cost $450 plus shipping. The gallows can be shipped via UPS.

3Oct09 Message: I am interested in putting the masttender hinge on my 16,but Hutchens does not think it's a good idea. I don't see any problem with it. I have a friend with a picknick cat that has the system and think it would work just fine. What has been your experience with this if any? Thanks

Answer: The picture of the 16 on my Home Page has a Mast Tender system and it works fine. I think that boat currently lives in CA. We have modified several 16s with the Mast Tender system. The problem with the system is cost. The Boom Tender system for the 16 cost less and does about the same thing. They both leave the sail covered on the boom with the mast down. The teak and stainless boom gallows used with the Mast Tender looks good, but it's expensive.

30Sep09 Message: I have completed my "Trawler" after 3 years and $11,000, including the donor boat and motor. I installed an Evinrude 9.9 electric start with remote controls. It was launched last Sunday and rides perfectly on her water line. I also re-installed the modified sail rig, but have not yet sailed her. It is based on a design I worked on for the past several years, but did not have the time to build until recently. I wrote to you for advice about 2 years ago and it was really helpful. Thanks. I can send a photo, but couldn't attach to this form. Plans are to develop a web site and describe what I did. The Com-Pac is a great donor hull for such a project. One last question, how do I join the Com-Pac owners Club?

Answer: All I need for the club is your phone number and area code. I have the other information I need. I also need the picture you mentioned because I'm sure everyone would like to see your Trawler. My email address is I'm looking forward to seeing the picture.

17Sep09 Message: I think that the tube with the pendant for the centerboard on my Suncat it allowing the water that spurts out to go outside the tube and down into the bilge. How can I stop this? Thanx Keith.

Answer: The tube is rigid and the cockpit floor has some give when we move around in the cockpit. That combination can cause a joint leak. The best way to test for a leak is to rap some tissue paper around the tube inside the seat hatch next to the floor. Wet paper will tell you if the floor/tube connection is leaking. You repair the connection by removing the teak block on the cockpit floor. Clean the old caulking at the connection and re-seal with 3M5200. Stop the drains from draining with rags or whatever and put some water in the cockpit with a hose. Check for leaks again using tissue paper.

5Sep09 Message: Thanks for the response on the proper rate of drip for my stuffing box. However I am still puzzled. I measured my rate of drip while the boat was under way at about 3/4's throttle. I observed the drip then at a drip every ten seconds. I still need to know what rate or amount of water is exceptable. The reason I need to know is I seem to be getting an unusal amount of water in the bilge below the stuffing nut. I have an automatic bilge pump but it has to run all the time to keep up. It even runs long after I have docked the boat and turned the engine off. Please give some guidance as to how much water should be coming in. Thank you very much!

Answer: I think you have a leak and it's not at the stuffing box. If you take a container and put it in a sink and adjust a faucet to drip one drop every ten seconds, it would take a long time to get a full container. Your bilge water appears to be more than a stuffing box drip. A drop of water every 30 to 60 seconds on the second day is acceptable for most stuffing boxes. The most likely source of your bilge water is the connection between the shaft log and the hull. Com-Pac uses a fiberglass log and they glass the log to the hull. The way to trouble shoot this problem is put the boat on a trailer and move the cutless bearing clamp aft. Caulk the joint between the log and the hull and then move the bearing clamp back into position to help seal the joint. After the 3M5200 cures, test the boat for leaks. This may not be a permanent fix, but it will identify the problem.

4Sep09 Message: I have a question about how much water should be dripping from my shaft log. I have a 9 HP Diesel Yanmar. The current drip rate is about 1 drop every 10 seconds. Is this too much or too little?

Answer: Good question. Everyone has that same question with a new diesel sailboat. Lubricating water is at the stuffing box when the boat is moving and the drip is atomized into a mist. You normally can't see the mist. When the boat stops moving, the water that was pulled into the stuffing box by the rotating shaft starts dripping. You measure the amount of drip the FOLLOWING DAY after the water in the stuffing box and the shaft log has had a chance to drain. Most shallow draft sailboats have their stuffing box located at the same level as the oide water level and they don't have a stuffing box problem. Some people measure their drip rate at the wrong time and screw up their stuffing box with too much adjustment.

29Aug09 Message: What a great websight. I haven't owned a Compac 16 for six years since I went wood but I visit your sight almost every day in anticipation of new pearls of wisdom from a serious sailor. Two questions: What is the Compac 16 on Ebay (50 miles from my house in IL) worth and what is the status of the enterboard 16? You have given alot of valuable information to alot of sailors. Thanks from at least one of them.

Answer: Another sailor asked the same EBay question on the phone and we said we though the price was good. The value of a used 16 is based on condition and some older 16s may need work. I plan on sailing the yelllow centerboard 16 for awhile. My plan is the sail two 16s on our New River race course and publish the dynamic results on our Web site. Comparing apples to apples should be interesting.

11Aug09 Message: I bought my Compac 19 from you about 15 years ago when I was living in Holly Springs, NC. I have to replace mast due to a boat ramp parking lot low hanging branch accident. Is it possible to order a new mast with the Mastendr hinge and use it with the existing setup on the standard Compac 19? I have seen photos of 19s that you have converted to the Mastendr setup.

Answer: We have evolved into something better. The Mast Tender was expensive and the Boom Tender works better for the 19. The first change for the Boom Tender 19 is the mast gallows. It bolts to the stern pulpit. That puts enough space under the mast for the boom and sail. What makes the Boom Tender work is a small universal joint between the boom and the mast. The mast folds and the boom folds with enough space for the sail and the sailcover. The third optional change is getting rid of the backstay. We move the chainplates for uppers aft and that makes the rigging into a tri-pod system like the 16. You don't need the backstay and raising the mast is better. The 19 was overbuilt and doesn't need all that wire. Sorry about the accident.

Message: Keith, A blast from the past, you surveyed my Montgomery 17' for Bill Sandifer back in 2000 ... I've had a long, profitable relationship with this boat and don't have any plans to let go of her. I'd love to send you pics of her - I've done quite a bit of work if you have an address to which I can send attached pics.

But I'm writing because I'm fascinated by the ComPac trawlers you're building and would like more pics/details.

Thank you for your time.

Answer: I hope you are doing well. Love to see the pictures. Our address is The Sailboat Company, PO Box 575, Richlands, NC 28574.

I documented most of our Com-Pac Trawler building process on the "Build A Trawler" link on the left. I think the best picture is when the boat is hanging vertical from the trailer eye. We were working on the keel extension and it seemed like the best way to get the job done. We tried to put it upside down, but the ballast didn't like that idea.

Several people are building their own Trawlers. We need to publish some of their pictures and we would like to have them sent to us at the above address or through email. Our email address is

Message: Question #1)I have a Com-Pac Legacy and keep it in my garage when I store it I take off the main sail and store it seperately ( I do this to keep the sail from getting bunched up when you fold the boom up against the mast) does this help the sail last longer or am I waisting my time and energy?
Question #2) I am thinking of putting a flexible furling on for the jib to make it easier so I don't have to go on the bow of the boat to raise and lower it. Is it easier to disconnect and store the jib this way (remember I trailor the boat)? And is it necessary to reef the jib on this boat or is reefing the mainsail good enough in strong wind and I am wasting my money?

Answer: You are wasting your time and energy. Sails get better with use and folding. When they are new, they have a hard surface that's difficult to shape. As they get older, sails get softer and they shape better. New sails are hard to use. Keep your sails out of the sun and never store them wet.

The correct furling gear for the Legacy is a Harken Small Boat Furling system. A wire forestay needs to be added to the jib by a sailmaker. You remove the jib when it rolled up and store it in the boat. Make sure you add a safety line to the system. This system and most furling systems only have one method of keeping the mast up when you are sailing. Most non-furling boats have two methods. The forestay is one method and the sail is the other. They are both connected to the boat and the mast and will keep the mast up if the other fails. The safety line can go from the top of the mast to the pulpit.

Message: Thank you for your advice re: CP-16. Last time out I had noticed that there is a slack starboard shroud and plan to tune the rig next time out. I am sure that this contributed to my lack of windwrd ablility (aside from the skipper). Do you have any tips re: tuning a CP-16 MKI?

Answer: You adjust the standing rigging on the trailer. The top of the mast should be as far forward as possible. When you put people in the cockpit, the stern goes down some and the mast becomes more vertical. Keeping the mast vertical will keep the center of effort in the correct location for a balanced boat and almost no lee helm. You should be able to steer with 2 fingers on the tiller. The shroud tension isn't too important. Your sailing rig is a tripod cting of the mast and two shrouds. When you are on the wind, one shroud will be slack and that's normal. When you are sailing down wind, the forestay will be slack and so on. Tension the rig for easy connection when you put the mast up.

Message: I have a 1983 cp-16/1 and am thinking of upgrading my forward sail plan to a 16/2 or maybe more. If I move the hound up will I need to have spreaders? My second question is can I just move the forestay up without moving up the side stays? Or do all the stays need to move up the mast with the hound?

Answer: The spreaders don't do anything. They were install on the newer boats for their appearance. Yes, you can move the forestay up a modest amount. When you change to a Mark II configuration, you will need to modify the pulpit and add a bowsprit. The yellow 16 on my DIY link on the left has all those changes including a Mark II sail plan.

Message: I have a CP-16 1981- the sails are probably original- I am tacking at 120+ going to windward...what should the optimal tacking angle be for teis boat with new sails?

Answer: Thanks for the good question. The sails on 16s where pretty good starting with the 1980 model. Before that year, they were too thin. Your old sails should point through 90 degrees going to windward. In light air, you sit on the low side (that points the keel up and you point higher) and you move the jib sheets inside the shrouds with your hand to make the slot between the jib and main smaller. When you get more wind, you move to the high side and tension the jib luff with the jib halyard. Look at the forestay sag. Tension the halyard where the sag is small. Check the sag by looking at the mast from the cockpit using the mast as a reference. The main sail sheets should be no closer than half way between the rudder head and the stern mooring cleat. It's easy to over power the keel and go sideways. While you are doing all of the above, maintain a light helm by moving people or objects in the boat. Of course when you see the jib just start to luff, you fall off a little and you keep testing your course to windward by testing the luff as you sail.

All of the above sounds like work. You will do all of the above without thinking about it as you gain experience in the boat. You don't think about steering your car when you drive down the road and sailing your boat will be the same. I currently steer a sailboat and pull the sheets without thinking about the details of their operation. It may take a few years to get to that point in sailing. We normally spend more time driving our cars than sailing our boats.

Message: My recently acquired ComPac 23 has a rather mangled mast step, no doubt the result of a number of out of control raisings or lowerings. I plan to take it off and either replace it or press it straight with a sized oak block filler. While it is off, I'll add some plates for a MacGregor gin pole, my intended mast raising system. How is it fastened from the factory? Is it wood or universal screws into the core material or machine screws into inserts? Doesn't seem to be any back plates or nuts, so I assume not through bolted. Also, what sealant is used? 5200? Anything I should know before I forge ahead and get in trouble? Thanks

Answer: The mast step is installed with screws. The screws will pull out if the mast is dropped. Through boltinjill do more damage if the mast is dropped (bent mast). A new mast step is cheap and it can be ordered from Com-Pac. The mast support for the 23 is 2 pieces of 3/4 inch plywood that spans the cabin bulkheads. The plywood is filled and glassed into place when the deck is molded. All fittings and screws in the mast step area should be sealed with 3M5200 to keep the plywood dry. We are currently working on a mast tender system for the 23. A mast hinge should improve mast raising on the 23. We will put it on the Web when we get it finished.

Message: I love my Horizion Cat. I sail her at least 2 to 3 times a week. When ever we sail I always seem to get water in the storage areas under the house cushions. What can I do to keep this water from entering these storage areas. Thanks for all the questions you ahve answered in the past.

Answer: Water leaks that occur during sailing normally come from the centerboard or the drive shaft log. Water from a centerboard leak will be found under the cushions and water from a drive shaft log leak will be found under the engine. We have removed the screws and resealed the centerboard flange when we had a problem like the one you describe.

Message: I have a new question for you. I bought my suncat used from you about two years ago. Two weeks ago after I launched at a boat landing, and my wife was holding it at the dock while I parked the trailer, a large willow tree next to the launch fell across the water and hit the stern of the suncat dead on, falling parallel to the axis of the boat and directly on top of it. The trunk was about 10 to 12 inches thick at the stern and it crashed through the boom gallows like butter, bending the flat metal supports for the boom gallows about 60 degrees but leaving the pipe uprights pretty much intact. The port side stay deflected the main trunk to the port side as it slid down the stay. (At the bow pulpit, the trunk was about 6 inches in diameter.) As far as I can tell, the boom and gaff are not bent, but the stays seem a little more loose. None of the fiberglass seems cracked or crazed, and the rudder and motor mount were missed. I used a hand bowsaw to cut off the branches and trunk in pieces, to free up the boat and to cut a path back to the shore to be able to remove the boat from the water to get it back on the trailer. I have not had any chance to sail since then.

My questions:

Can I order a new boom gallows? What is the cost, about? Would it be serviceable to make a new one from oak, or would using teak be significantly better, for purposes of more than appearance? Would you advise replacing the stay that seems a little loose, or can I just tighten it a little? If for safety, a new stay would be preferred, can I order that from you or from Hutchins? Are there installation guides for tensioning a new stay? I don't have current directions on how to adjust the tension on the stays to what would be "normal".

If you need an endorsement for one tough sailboat that can be hit dead-on by a falling tree and come up with only one broken part, let me know. I have some interesting photos if you want to see them.

Answer: I'm sorry you had a problem with the tree. The damage doesn't appear to be too bad. If the stay doesn't have broken wires, it should be fine. I think the accident caused the stay to stretch and that's OK. Adjust the stay where it has the same tension as the other side. The tension on Sun Cat shrouds are not critical. If the mast has too much lean while sailing, increase the tension to keep it straight. The boom gallows wood cost about $110.81 plus shipping. You can order it from Com-Pac. Any wood like oak will work and it should look pretty good. Com-Pac boats are tough boats.

Message: I am in the process of buying a used c-19, I need a quote on what it would cost to modify mast to make it easier to raise. I wish I could bring it to you to refurbish, but thats probably not feasible. Just send me an email and let me know the cost. You have a great site. Thanks in advance

Answer: The mast gallows for the 19 is too large to ship via UPS. Shipping by truck would require lots of packing to prevent damage and would cost too much. You may be able to look at the pictures on the Web and have someone at your location bend the stainless for you. The gallows is made from 7/8 inch stainless and it's connected to the stern pulpit with eye straps. We modify the rig by removing the backstay and installing the upper chainplates aft of their original location and locating the uppers at this new location. The lowers stay at their original location. Not picking up the backstay and getting rid of the backstay from the mast gallows area improves mast raising.

Message: Before I ask my question, let me say that your restorations are stunning. I just got a Com-Pac 23 and am looking for a better mast raising system. Are you familiar with the system that uses the MacGregor components or could you suggest something else? While this boat will be in water most of the time, it will be transported to a new sailing area about once a year, and I would like to get the rigging and derigging a little more organized.

Can you sign me up as a member? Thanks

Answer: Thanks for the kind words. The mast raising system on a 23 needs to be tailored to the individual. The system below was designed for a man and his wife and the boat has furling gear. She can crank the mast up with the trailer winch while her husband checks the rigging to make sure that nothing gets caught. It's the most complete and expensive system. Some people can get by with just a mast gallows. It starts the mast raising from an elevated position.

The mast gallows is 7/8 inch tubing that's clampled to the rear pulpit with 4 7/8 inch eye straps on each side. It looks pretty good as a permanent fixture. The "A" frame has two pieces of 1 inch stainless that bent at the base using 2 convenient trees. The rest of the frame is bolted together. West Marine sells the required tube clamps. They only come in a 1 inch size and that's why we use 1 inch tubing. No welding required. The "A" frame can be removed or it can stay on the deck. It depends on how often the mast goes up and down.

I need your phone number for the club.

Message: I have lost the end of a turnbuckle from one of my side stays that attaches to the chainplate. What size turnbuckle do I need?

Answer: You have 2 different size turnbuckles on a Com-Pac 23. West Marine sells parts and pieces for turnbuckles that should work. The small turnbuckle on your boat is 1/4 inch and the larger one is 5/16 inch. The size business and the thread direction can be complicated when selecting the correct end toggle. Take it back if it doesn't work.

Message: Hello, We just located and purchased our first sailboat,an 84 Com-Pac 16, and have found your Q&A site ncredibly helpful as we learn about our "new" boat. We would like to join CPYANK. Next step? Thanks for all the info. I'm sure we will have questions as we prepare to get her launched for the first time. Can't wait! -Thanks

Answer: Great boat. We have all the information we need except a phone number. We use phone numbers as passwords. Send me your phone number and I will sign you up.

Message: I am looking at purchasing a 1987 Compac 16 Mark II. However the hull has micro blisters, smaller than a dime or quarter in many places. Using a rubber mallett there are no soft spots. Would you recommend moving forward? If so what would be a starting point for price, and would a new bottom coat help?

Thanks for your help.

Answer: Small surface blisters are common on boats that lived in warm waters during the 80s. When we find them, we sand them smooth and fill them with a filler. These are not structural blisters and they should not effect the value of a boat. It might cost an extra $600 or less to smooth a bottom during a bottom job.

Message: I was very impressed by the trawler conversion you did for the ComPac. I would like to discuss the possibly of such a conversion for my WWP 15.

Answer: I think it will work. Do a mockup of the house (cabin) using some 1/8-inch or 1/4-inch plywood. You only need to do one side. The house needs to look right to your eye from the side, front and the rear. The windows are available from a great supply source in California. After you do your mockup, use it as a pattern to make 2 sides and the 2 front house pieces. The house can be made from any material. The best material is COOSA, a 1/2 inch foam panel with fiberglass. Tape the panels to the boat's deck and mark a line where the boat's deck (roof) will be cut. Cut the boat's deck and glass the panels to the boat. You should have a boat that looks like the unfinished Com-Pac 16 on our "Build a Trawler" link. When you get to this point, we can talk about the top, top and the address for the windows.

I always do my first design on a computer. The real boat results and your computer design will be a little different. It is still a good place to start. Make sure you have sitting headroom in the steering position under the top. I think your bunks will be replaced with a steering console. Good luck with the design.

Message: Keith, I just upgraded to a 4 hp 4 stroke Yamaha OB on my CP-16. Even though this motor is about 48 lbs(light for its class), I was concerned about the OB bracket mounts. It seems the factory used very small washers to back up the mounting bolts. Because the transom is slightly curved, a larger backing plate would not work. I could use large SS fender washers to back up the mount bolts. Any other ideas ? Thanks.

Answer: Your 16 has a built-in backing plate that covers the whole transom. It's 1/2 inch plywood that's glassed-in place when the boat is built. The Factory bolts lots of stuff to the transom (ladder, rudder and motor mount) and they know a backing plate is required. Your y not balance all that well with 48 pounds on the transom. People in the cockpit and the motor on the transom should bring the bow up and the top of the mast back. Move the top of the mast forward with the standing rigging if possible. This should help your sailing balance.

Message: Keith, I was thinking about painting my deck a tad darker than the "ice cream" color that was on my new (2006) boat. I had a cream-colored sail made to match and now the deck is almost white-looking. In one of your how-to's, you mentioned that you didn't believe in painting decks. May I ask why not? Would appreciate any advice.

Answer: We avoid painting decks for technical reasons. A non-skid surface is hard to paint with good results. Getting the non-skid prepared for paint is one problem and getting to much paint on the non-skid is another. Dirt and other foreign materials fall into your wet paint when you paint horizontal surfaces from the painting equipment (gun, hose and hands). That problem doesn't exist when you paint a vertical surface. All of the equipment attached to the deck needs to be removed and replaced if you want a perfect paint job. This detail cost lots of time and money. The solution for most decks is getting the chalk off the deck and making it look like it did when it was new. A new product from West is working very well for us. It brings the original color back with very little user effort. The produce is Starbright Non-Skid Deck Cleaner, West Marine Part Number 8616974. The stuff really works.

Message: Keith, another question: You've recommended Turtle Wax for dark shades of green [Color Cure Car Polish]. I've looked high and low and cannot find it. My Sun Cat hull is teal green. Thanks.

Answer: Any green colored wax will do. Our eyes only see large areas of color at one time and they cannot pick out small color differences that are small in size. The secret to touchup is to make the color almost the same color as the original color. It would be nice to make it the same color, but that's normally not possible. I just repaired some screw holes in a 52-foot Bluewater powerboat. The gel-coat was white with a gray tint. I used white filler to fill the holes and I polished the filler (I didn't use any gel-coat). Those screw holes disappeared on that 52-foot boat and I consider them gone.

I can't find green Turtle Wax on the Web. I think it has been discontinued. has blue and black and the blue color might work for you. A blue or black tint over light colored scratches should make them hard to see.

Message: I'm very interested in your new "rumble seat" modification for the 23. It looks like it will be in the way of the boom blocks? Do you have cover perfected yet? Any more pics? Thanks for your continued modifications to our sailboats!

Answer: The 23 with the rumble seat should be sailing in a few weeks. We will do more pictures at that time. We think the main sheet should work without any problems. We will know for sure when we put it together and go sailing. The backstay will have to go through a hole in the seat. We plan on grabbing the backstay when you use the seat. We found a Sun Cat rudder pickup handle made by Com-Pac in stock (Com-Pac's rudder handles are cheaper than our custom models). We modified the handle and we think it's going to work. The 23s need an easy way to control the rudder. We built an extra long standard rudder handle (14 inches) that will also work with the seat.

Message: I bought and installed the rudder control handle from Compac, but I'm unsure how to manage it. In the rudder-down position, does the handle just sit there unattended? Second, how do you secure the rudder in the up position?

Answer: There are 2 pieces of metal welded to the handle. I'm going to call them clips for the lack of a better word. You should have also received a piece of stainless steel and a piece of black plastic. The black plastic piece will rest on top of your existing rudder stock. It should stick out about 1/2 inch to the rear. The stainless steel piece covers the plastic piece and both are screwed to the rudder stock. This is in a spot just behind the tiller. You will need to drill 2 holes in the black aluminum rudder stock for the screws. Secure the stainless piece on top of the plastic piece with 2 metal screws.

The operation of the handle has 2 purposes. The first purpose is to keep the rudder down when you are sailing. The top clip on the handle will fit under the plastic piece and keep the rudder down. You might need to bend the handle a small amount to get the right amount of spring tension on the handle in this position. A shock cord around the handle and the rudder stock will prevent the handle from falling into the water when it slips out of your hand or when the rudder hits something. The other clip on the handle is the rudder up clip. This clip rests on top of plastic piece when the rudder is in the up position. I tie the handle with a line to make sure the handle stays in the up position when the boat is in a slip.

Rudder kick up will happen as it should because the plastic will bend when you hit something with the rudder. The handle will be free, the rudder will come up and the shock cord will keep the handle where you can grab it to put the rudder down again. That down part of the handle system takes the place of the old standard screw and handle tension device. The up device takes the place of the standard line and cleat device. It is just an easy way to do the same thing.

Message: Thanks for the clear pics and info on your site showing how to take out rudder slop by installing bushings. I just got bushings from Hutchins. I'm wondering what has been your experience as far as electrolysis between the aluminum rudder fittings and the bronze bushings? The metals are pretty far apart on the galvanic scale but I'm guessing there's not a lot of room for moisture once pressed.

Answer: We have tried both bronze and nylon bushings with good results. Richard Summers circumnavigated his 23D around the eastern USA with nylon bushings and they are still working today. Most of our restored 19s and 23s use bronze bushings and that's what the factory is using in their new boats. No problems yet.

Message: I sold my West Wight Potter 19 in anticipation of buying a refurbished Rhodes22 from the manufacturer, General Boat in North Carolina.Stan the owner then informed me there is a newer Rhodes22 for sale 2 1/2 hrs drive from where I live.I went up to see it and to my horror found the boat's cabin filled with water like a swimming pool. I had made arrangement prior to have it surveyed. Is it worth following it thru? If the water was formed during warmer months and turned into ice during the winter, would it damage anything? What about the electrical system? The water was at the interior settee's height.

Answer: Boats in the condition you described are called Project Boats. They need to be inspected, repaired and tested before they can be considered seaworthy. Most Project Boats have little value in their present condition. A survey should be completed after the boat has been repaired and tested. Buying a Project Boat "as is" is a big gamble even with a low price. I think I own 1 or 2.

Message: I appreciate all the answers you have provided to my questions. I now have had the oppurtunity to sail my new Horizon Cat. It is truly a wonderful boat. I would like to know if you have any recomendations for a "Lazy Jack" system. I single hand a lot and I feel the proper Lazy jack system will make lowering the large sail much eaiser. Please give me your thoughts on this. Once again thank you for all of your help and knowledge about my Horizon cat.

Answer: We have installed Harken lazy jacks on the Sun Cat and the Horizon Cat. The Harken kit is a quality system. The kit has to be adjusted to fit the shorter masts of both boats. It's a simple procedure. I think the lazy jacks installation is worthwhile if you keep your mast up most of the time. If you trailer and raise and lower the mast most of the time, the lazy jacks rig becomes too complicated. The folded lazy jack rig looks like a mess of wires going everywhere. Rasing and lowing the mast becomes more difficult.

The Horizon Cat is a great sailing machine. I'm glad you like your boat. Make sure you check your centerboard zincs once a year if you keep her in the water.

Message: I just took delivery of my new Horizon Cat. I am having trouble with the "mastendr" system. The promotinal video make it look easy to lift the mast by simply winching it up. It looks effortless. We did all the right things. We palced the 'Pole" in the right place but the mast would not lift unlesss we raised the mast several feet by hand before being able to hoist it with the winch. We had no trouble raising it by hand. Compac personel suggests it just may need raisng and lowering several times before it will winch up without assist. When we tighten up on the winch in anticipation of the mast raising the line and forstay get very tight but the mast does not lift. The pole almost bends under the pressure. It is almost as if it were in a bind. We can find no place where it is actually in a bind. Do yo have any suggestions as to how we might achive the effortless winching up that we see in the video. Thank you.

Answer: I think the problem is the fitting attached to the forestay. That fitting has to be placed between the mast and the pole. The fitting (a piece of metal squeezed or pressed on the forestay) is what pulls the mast up and forward with the winch. If that fitting is not in the right position, the forces generated will be as you describe. If that fitting has moved or if it is missing, the mast raising system will not work.

Message: I am getting a new Horizon cat. It is not coming with bottom paint. What is the best bottom paint for the gulf coast and do I need to sand the bottom before applying bottom paint for the first time? It will be kept in a slip. Thanks

Answer: I recommend that you use a professional to do the work. The boat needs to be removed from the trailer or you will really reduce the value of the trailer with paint splatter and the centerboard needs special attention anyway. We use tin bottom paint (the same paint used on powerboat IO systems) for the centerboard.

We use 80 grit open coat sandpaper to rough up the bottom (light sanding will remove wax) after taping a fine line 1/2 or 3/4 inch below the boot stripe. Then we wipe the bottom with a cleaner (Pettit Bottom Prep) and paint with 2 or more coats of barrier coat. Read the instructions on the can (Pettit Protect) and follow the instructions. We follow the barrier coat with 2 coats of Pettit Trinidad. Black bottom paint seems to last the longest.

Message: Do you have any good used sails for a 1979 Compac 16? How about a roller furling rig for the Compac 16? Thanks

Answer: No. All original 1979 sails were bad sails. They were too thin. We buy new sails from Super Sailmakers in Florida. Good prices and good sails and they have a Web site. We buy furling gear for 16s from Cruising Design. They sell direct to sailors from their Web site. If the boat is going to stay in the water, furling is great. I don't like furling if the boat is going to be trailered.

Message: I need to know how to properly install a Transom boarding laddder also a bimini. On my horizon cat. Thanks!

Answer: The bimini people at Com-Pac provide an installation diagram. The Com-Pac ladder needs to be installed parallel to the rudder. The backing plate for the ladder is built into the transom. Drill your holes using the ladder as a diagram.

Message: Can I install life lines on my Horizon cat and where should I purchase them? Thanks.

Answer: You can buy the life lines from West Marine and the Stanchions from the Com-Pac Factory. We don't like life lines on the Horizon Cat because the boat is very stiff (sails level), has lots of things to hold on to as you move back and forth on the boat and I fall (trip) over the life lines more than I should when they are installed.

Message: Can you reccomend a Autopilot for my Horizon Cat? I've looked at several which would be the best?

Answer: The wheel steering hardware for a Horizon Cat is really a rotary helm system for a power boat. It's also installed backwards. Adapting an autopilot will be difficult. I think I would look into a custom tiller autopilot installed on the wheel. Small changes would work well, but it couldn't handle more than 180 degrees worth of wheel movement. Power boat autopoilot are expensive and adapting a standard system to a Horizon Cat will be difficult.

Message: We have recently purchased the above boat (1977 Com-Pac 16) and would like to get an idea of what it would cost to restore it.

Answer: It depends on the boat's current condition and how much you want done. A restoration with enhancements (new paint, mast gallows and new upholstery) could cost as much as $5K. A modest restoration could cost about $1K. That price would include clean, buff, wax and most repairs.

Message: I visited you shop a few months ago to get some ideas to convert a 16 to a trawler. I'm about halfway through, and interested in getting a Legacy bow pulpit, anchor roller, and a new rubrail to replace the 1980 original. How much would those items cost, and I would probably be able to pick them up from you. Thanks

Answer: Good for you. We would like to have some pictures when its finished. The Legacy pulpit cost $296 and would have to be shipped by truck. I have several items that need to be shipped and that would reduce the individual shipping cost for each item. The Anchor Roller cost $80 and the rub rail cost $158 and they can be shipped by UPS. Keep up the good work.

Message: Liked your restored C19. We will be retiring this year and would be interested in a C19. We're curious, what does a restored C19 cost? Just for grins, have you considered a motor/sailor C19? Early thanks for your time.

Answer: The blue 19 boat cost $18K with a new trailer and motor. Gerry Hutchins likes the 19 for a trawler conversion. We talked about the possibilities several years ago. I like the 23. We plan on building a house for a diesel 23 sometime soon. The house would be the mast support needed for a mast tender system in a 23.

Message: I like the lapel pin on you home page! I retired after 26 years in the Marine Corps. I was just given a 1993 Com-Pac 23/3 and am looking for a trailer, preferrablely used. Can you recommend a good source? Thanks and Semper Fi.

Answer: Used trailers disappeared from the market when the first round of hurricanes became active several years ago. A new trailer cost about $4K. New laws concerning how trailers are built make them very expensive. Most 23s live in the water at a slip and the owners with trailers normally have trailer maintenance problems from lack of use. If you can live with the cost of launching your boat at a marina with marina equipment (about $100), a car trailer or any flat bed trailer with a boat stand bolted to the bed will work. We use the boat stand system for most boats larger than the 23. We never launch them from a ramp. Ramps on the coast are normally short. Lake Ramps can be built when they draw the lake down and they are normally long. Running off the end of the ramp with a long trailer is very common on the coast. If the ramp is too short and too shallow, a 23 is not going to launch. Good luck finding a trailer. The 23 is a great boat and Semper Fi

Message: I make an annual sail from Avon (on Hatteras Island) to Ocracoke. Depending on wind conditions the trip takes between 12 and 14 hours. Now, I don't know about you, but that is a long time at the tiller for me. tying off the tiller to get something from the cabim is guaranteed to make her head up or fall off. So, my question, do you think an auto pilot on such a small boat is over the top?

Answer: We have installed several autopilots on 16s. The basic tiller unit works well. You will have to add a battery to the installation if you don't have one and we also like rudder bearings for a good autopilot installation. How to install rudder bearings are on our DIY Web link on the left. We sailed 5 16s from Swan Quarter to Ocracoke several years ago (West to East) across the Pamlico Sound. All the single-handed sailors needed an autopilot.

Message: Questions i am trying to get answered. I'm 65 yrs o. Thhis is my first boat, have for about a month now. It has a 155% head sail/furler. and a loode footed main. Weaather helm. I've raked the mast forward as much as possible. Any suggestions.Or is it just the nature of the boat?

Would you suggest a boom vang? Just for all around sailing.

Pinning the rudder. What size pin? the sleeve that the rudder fits into has a larger pinhole than the rudder. Use a small pin for shear effect? There will be some slop if a small pin is used because of the larger hole in the sleeve. Don't worry about it?

Any other hints for improvements.


Answer: The Com-Pac 23 will sail with a balanced helm. Increasing halyard tension will move the camber in the jib and main forward reducing helm and balancing the boat. A boom vang is used for downwind sailing on a 23 and is not needed by most sailors. We don't pin the rudder in North Carolina. The pin is designed for Gulf sailing where the water is deep. If you use the pin in North Carolina, you will have twisted metal in the rudder after you hit the bottom and you will hit the bottom in North Carolina. Stop by shop in Richlands when you have time and we can talk about your boat. I remember the loose footed main modification.

Message: If I want to use a Com Pac cruising spinnaker on my boat do I need to rig a Spinnaker Halyard or simply use my headsail halyard?

Answer: Most cruising spinnakers are designed to work with the headsail halyard. They work like a big genoa. You can rig another halyard to make the sail work like a real spinnaker outside the standing rigging. Tacking a cruising spinnaker inside the forestay doesn't work very well. Most spinnakers are designed for downwind sailing and they are best used by jibing the sail outside the standing rigging to change direction. Jibing is better than tacking when it comes to spinnakers.

Message: just found your wed site very impressive. what would your estimate be to restore just the outside of my 16. she is in fairly good condition all wood is good. also what is the price of your pictured 16 a beautiful boat

Answer: We paint the hull and deck on a 16 for about $3,000. AWL-CRAFT is a hard paint that shines for a long time. Choice of colors are available. The 1986 Model 16 on our Home Page was painted with AWL-CRAFT. The boat sold for $9,800 several years ago.

Message: Hi Folks, Qest. #1 I've forgotten my password for the Com-Pac owners site how do I get back in? #2 While single handing I find that getting the sail raised and lowered is a bit of a chore. I spray the slugs and track with sail ease from West Marine but I still get bound up often, what is the fix? #3 My hull is black and last year the hull rubbed against the rubber edging on the dock and scuffed up a spot on the hull, I've compounded the area with some results but it is still noticible. Does someone make a product for black hulls, maybe a black wax or something? Your website is the best for sailing that I've seen. Thanks

Answer: Your password is your phone number. Type your password without any spaces.

Keep your Sun Cat pointing into the wind when you raise your sail. Most sailors try to keep going or raising the sail when the sail isn't luffing and the boat has started to fall off. The secret is to stop raising the sail when raising the sail becomes difficult. Start raising again when the sail luffs and raising is easy. Don't be in a hurry when you raise your sail. I sometimes sail my boat with a half raised main sail in light air for practice.

Blue wax should help. See Project 6 on the "Do It Yourself" link on the left. A professional can make the spot disappear. It may cost big bucks for a perfect job.

Thanks for the kind words.

Message: What year did compac start putting a center board on the 16?

Answer: We talked to Com-Pac and they can't remember. We checked our records and we think the first centerboard 16 was a 1997 model. It was produced after August 1996.

Message: I noticed that you may be putting an 11-HP diesel in the CP23 you are currently restoring, and I'm curious about the reasoning behind this decesion. I have a 23 with the 9-HP, and never had any problems moving her along at about 4 knots in calm conditions. Will the 11 horses move her along any faster? Hull-speed (6 knots) or even 5 knots would certainly open up her cruising range while under power. 6 knots with a 300 mile range in the Great Lakes would make her a viable commuter!

Answer: I just did an article for our Club newsletter concerning diesels. This is what I said: The solution to the water in the gas problem may be a new diesel engine in your small Com-Pac boat. The Sailboat Company has successfully installed several diesels in Com-Pac 23s and has just put one in a Sun Cat hull. We had one owner install a small diesel in his Com-Pac 19 with good results. We think a diesel in an Eclipse will work and we may put a diesel in a converted 16 Trawler after we remove the ballast.

Diesels put the weight in a good location on a sailboat. A Com-Pac Yacht sails better with the engine in the middle of the boat and not hanging on the transom. Filters installed with a diesel installation separate water from fuel and will make for a more reliable installation.

Back to your question. Your 9hp outboard should move your 23 at 6 knots. We normally have a little water in the cockpit floor at 5.5 knots and more at 6 knots. I have raced a 23D over long distances and it does sail better than an outboard boat (we surfed 1 time at 10 knots on a broad reach with lots of wind). I have sailed (motored) between Ocracoke (Outerbanks) and New Bern, NC in 13 hours. A large four-stroke outboard may not be the best outboard for the fine ends on a 23. The standard outboard for a Florida 23 is 4hp and the standard outboard for a North Carolina 23 is 5hp. I'm talking about 2 stroke motors back when we only had 2 stroke motors. 4 stroke heavy motors may not work that well on a 23. I think you may be getting water in the cockpit at 4 knots because of boat balance. A 5hp Honda 4 stroke (56 pounds) moves a 23 at 6 knots. We chartered a 23 in the New Bern area for 2 years. We accompanied the charter people in a 25 Com-Pac diesel. We were leading the charter boat up the Neuse at our normal 5-knot cruise speed. I told the charter boat to pick up the pace on the VHF and he passed me like I was standing still. He put the pedal to metal with that 5hp Honda. The people that make long cruises in Com-Pac Yachts do it with diesels. Richard Summers and Herb Lincoln (Sea Stories on the left) made their ICW voyages with diesel motors. Richard talked to several people on his journey that had problems with their outboards. Of course outboard are great for small trips between a slip and a sailing area. Watch out for the water in the gas. An accurate way to measure speed is with a chart and a watch. Cover the distance in both directions. Do the math and use the corrected speed to correct your current instrument.

Message: Hello Glad to meet you, This site has been a wealth of information-thank you. Question: I want to remove my boat from the trailer and pant the hull. I got a deal on some paint at west Marine for $25 a quart. It is interlux interthane plus (sp?) Dark Blue. I was told that this is the same company that makes awlgrip paints. Our helpful senior rep at west marine told us this paint normally sells for $75 a qt - this paint was special ordered and no one picked it up. It can be applied with roller or brush. How do you suggest supporting and removing the boat off of the trailer while sanding and painting the underside? any Tips would be greatly appreciated. Also: what do you recommend using to fill light scratches in the gel coat?

Answer: I think I would lean thea boat over on the trailer. We leave the boat connected to the winch stand (make sure the trailer is supported with jack stands) and after supporting one side under the rub rail with a 2X4, we lower the bunk on that side. 2 men, maybe 1 man can lean the boat over on that lowered bunk (check the keel guides for clearance as you lower). The other bunk on the other side can be removed and you can paint one side at a time. Make sure you cover your trailer well when you paint the bottom. Bottom paint on a trailer makes the boat and the trailer worth less when you decide to sell. It may take 2 men to lift the boat back to vertical. Small scratches in gel-coat can be buffed out with compound and a good buffer. Large scratches or cracks in gel-coat require a filler and more gel-coat. There is no in between repair procedure.

Message: The Compac 23 scheduled for restoration by Mar. 09 will be on for sale?

Answer: Yes. The finish date may change. We may install a new 11 hp diesel in this boat.

Message: I would like to thank you for your efforts improving the CP-19 mast raising system with Eclipse mast gallows, boom tender, spreader relocation, and elimination of the backstay. I'd like to improve my '87 CP-19 with these upgrades. I'm in the process now of restoring my mast and replacing spreaders, so this is a great time to consider these improvements. Would you consider providing a kit with new parts, spreader geometry, and detailed instructions? Regards

Answer: A picture is worth a thousand words and that picture is on Web link "What's New". The picture shows the general arrangement of the components for a modified installation. You also need to know that the spreaders and backstay are eliminated in this modification. The uppers go to a new position that's halfway between the ports (the upper chainplates are angled a little to match the new shroud angle). You remove and use the original chainplates in the new position. The lowers are still connected at the old position. The forestay doesn't change. That's it for the sailing configuration. Total parts required are the bolts and nuts for the relocated chainplates and a backing plate for each new chainplate location.

A mast raising system with the sail on the boom is a little more complicated. A mast gallows for the CP-19 cost $550. It can be shipped by UPS and connects to your stern pulpit. No drilling required. It is easy to install. You can also add a device for folding the boom. It's a small stainless steel extension that connects the boom to mast at the boom gooseneck. The extension with the connecting pieces cost $50. Storing the sail on the boom is a good idea, but raising the mast with the boom connected is not my cup of tea. I lay the boom on the deck when I raise the mast.

To make raising the mast easy, we made the mast gallows as tall as possible. You can trailer with the mast resting on the gallows and connected to the mast step for short distances. The mast should be moved to a position between the gallows and the forward pulpit for long distances. If you don't mind taking the boom off the mast, the mast gallows will work well by itself. Getting rid of the backstay and starting the mast lift at a higher position makes raising the mast much BETTER.

Message: Hello. Can we buy the Boom tender system fot the com-pac 19 without the boom to mast connection ? How much would it cost ? Thanks

Answer: Yes. The mast gallows for the Com-Pac 19/23 cost $550 plus shipping.

Message: I,m in need of a compac 16 boom. new or used, can anyone direct me, or get me specs?

Answer: A new 16 boom cost $220 plus shipping. I also have a used boom in stock for $110. Shipping cost is a problem with a new boom. Picking up the used boom at our yard will be cheapest way to go. If you want to make your own boom, measure the distance from the mast to aboutt 12 inches forward of the transom. Really, any length will work as long as the blocks are located in the right place.

Message: I have sailed since 1970 and I recently purchased a CP-16 1981 - basic stock boat.
1- I would like to add lifelines for safety reasons (kids) - if I use stern rails rather than ending at aft quarterdeck can I use it as a backrest?
2- where can I get a parts list for hardware i.e. blocks to bring halyards to cockpit, stanchions, sternrail, etc.?
3- I need cabin cushions (BERTHS) for Compac 16 - any condition; IDAFOIL RUDDER, ROLLER FURLER FOR JIB.

Answer: Lifelines on the 16 was not a popular option. Too much clutter on a small boat. I would ask Com-Pac direct if they will make the parts and pieces. They made them in house. The 16 lifelines didn't work as a backrest.

Dealers have a Com-Pac parts list. Keeping it up to date is a problem and reading the nomenclature code is very difficult. We call Com-Pac and talk to Jane when we need answers on parts. Feel free to do the same thing.

Halyards aft can be built using 2 cleats, 2 RF285 cheek blocks with a curved base, West Marine part number 538603 and longer halyards. Make sure the halyard size is 1/4 inch in diameter. The stanchions and sternrail were built by Com-Pac. Ask Jane if they are still available. A cool thing about the halyards aft on the 16 is that they can be used as a tension device. Pull sideways (barber haul) the halyard betweem the block and the cleat and hold that tension with the opposite halyard's tail. It really works well to increase jib halyard tension.

Ida Sailor and Cruising Design sell rudders and jib furler direct. They both have excellent Web sites with detailed ordering information. Call or email them if you have questions.

We sell new cushions for the Com-Pac 16. They cost $650 plus shipping.

Message: I need two spreader bars for my Compac 16, each is 18" long. Can you supply?

Answer: We don't sell many 16 spreaders. They break at the connection hole next to the mast and most people cut off the broken part, drill a new hole and replace. The difference in length between the spreaders is not important. In some cases, customers find the spreaders are too much trouble to use when they trailer. They remove the spreaders, adjust the shrouds a little and use the boat without spreaders. The addition of spreaders on the 16 didn't do anything for its sailing performance and may have been added for appearance purposes.

The best place to order spreaders is direct from Com-Pac. They will take your credit card number over the phone and UPS the part. A link to their Web site and phone number is on the left.

Message: Has Com Pac or anyone else come up with a fix to prevent the Headsail from hanging up on the Mast Tender "stub" while tacking? I have an Eclipse and can always expect to have to go forward to free the sail after any tack.

Answer: Anything on the forward edge of a mast will catch or hook a genoa sheet on a tack. Most sailors reduce this problem by adding a line or lines to keep the genoa sheets from hooking the obstructions on the mast. A line tied to the pulpit on one side and run around the top of the mast-raising stub and back to the pulpit on the other side may fix the problem. This would prevent the sheets from catching under the hinge or the mast-raising stub.

We would like to hear from anyone else with his or her solution to this problem.

Message: I am in need of a boom for a compac 16, year 1980. If you could give me any info. on new, used,or dementions for diy fabrication or costs, it would be appreciated. Thanks

Answer: A new 16 boom cost $220 plus shipping. I also have a used boom in stock for $110. Shipping cost is a problem with a new boom. Picking up the used boom at our yard will be cheapest way to go. If you want to make your own boom, measure the distance from the mast to about a point 12 inches forward of the transom. Really, any length will work as long as the blocks are located in the right place.

Message: Thank you for your previous answer. Reading your Q&A has been very informative. t possible to acquire colored sails for my 19?

Answer: Colored sails can be purchased from Super Sailmakers. Their Web address is They have lots of experience with Com-Pac sails and they have good prices.

Message: Hi I was wondering what Compac 23 sails you have available? Looking for a hank-on genoa. Thanks

Answer: We have 2 hanked on genoas. One is a really nice 155% made by Bob Johnson sailmakers in Clearwater, FL. It's a custom PHRF sail and we will sell it for $500. The other sail is a 130% in good condition for $300. We also have several furling genoas that would require removing the furling strip and adding hanks. These sails sell for $100 each.

Message: I recently retired from the USCG. I know lots about motor craft and helos - and absolutely zip about sailing. But it's what I want to do. I just purchased a Com-Pac 19 that is in the water at Somers Point, NJ. I looked at the boat this past Sunday and am 98% intimidated. The boat is currently rigged and has a furling genoa. The boat needs a heavy detail/cleaning. My intention is to trailer the boat back to PA, and ramp launch the boat through November on the Delaware River and nearby larger lakes. That means raising the mast, setting the rigging and sails, etc. The problem is I have no clue on how to proceed. I'd hate to make a bad experience of this right at the start. How should I tackle this? Note - for now I will be doing this single-handed. I'm also interested in your hinged mast system that allows for one-person stepping.

Answer: You picked the right boat. The 19 are one of the best learning boats ever made. It was designed by Bob Johnson of Island Packet fame. It has 40% of its total weight in ballast and that makes it sail like a big boat, but you can still get it off and on a trailer. The new model of the 19 is a Com-Pac Eclipse that cost lots of money. You have a bargain model Eclipse.

Learning how to sail will be easy in a 19. Flying and sailing is very similar. They both require balance to make everything work well. Back in my old helicopter days, we used reciprocating engines that were weak compared to the jet engines used today. I compare sailing in light wind to flying an old helicopter at high altitudes. It requires some finesse and that's what I like about sailing. You will be competent to sail the 19 on the first day and you will get better at sailing every day you go sailing for the rest of life.

A 19 problem is the trailer is too short. I hope you have a good ramp. The boat is a little tall when it's on the trailer and a ladder helps in the parking lot. The Eclipse design solved these basic problems. You will be able to straddle the mast on the 19 (facing aft) and raise and lower the mast. I remember picking up a 19 at MCAS, Cherry Point. I put the trailer in the water at the ramp, walked to the boat that was in a slip, started the motor and motored into the trailer. I shut the motor down and walked to the bow, climbed down the winch stand and winched the boat on the trailer. I put the boat on a flat spot in the parking lot, climbed up the winch stand and put the mast down and moved the mast between the pulpits. Tied it down and I was history. I may have taken 15 minutes to do it all. You may want to remove the furling gear from your boat because you are going to trailer the boat. Furling gear is good for boats that stay in the water and bad for boats that have to be trailered. Furling requires too much rigging time in the parking lot. Good luck with the new boat.

Message: I just purchased a 2003 Suncat Daysailer, & have a couple of questions: Do you have any recommendations for managing the anchor. It seems that having to remove & return the anchor to the forward compartment is messy, & there's no drain in the compartment. Do you suggest an anchor roller, if yes where do I get one & how do I install; as well as a better way of storing it? Also, the 16x20 white plastic hatch or door is in bad shape, I know I can buy a new one from Compac, but has anyone replaced it with something more substantial (teak?) Also,it has no electrical system, I need at least to install a battery for a depth finder, but would also like to install r ing lights. Last (for now), I'll be sailing in water that is shallow in parts, can I sail with the centerboard partially down, or does it need to be just up or down. Thanks very much, your website is terrific.

Answer: They solution to the anchor problem is the anchor roller. The anchor roller looks like a small bowsprit and you store the anchor on the anchor roller. You will need a deck pipe to go with the roller and Com-Pac can provide both items. The installation is straightforward. The new tack fitting for the forestay is the anchor roller and the old tack fitting is not used. It think the white plastic hatch is waterproof and making a teak hatch waterproof on a vertical surface would be difficult. I haven't seen a teak door on a daysailor, but we have changed the inside hatch door on the cabin model. A bigger and fancy teak door is an improvement on that model. All Com-Pacs with centerboards can be sailed with the board up on all points of sail. On a close reach, you will be going sideways with the board up. A board that's only part way down will help the slipping problem in shallow water. It doesn't help boat balance when the board isn't all the way down. In slower wind speeds, balance can be adjusted with load and sails and in higher speeds, a full centerboard will be required. Sailing in thin water with lots of wind can be exciting.

Message: I am looking for boat to do day sails with my wife and 9 year old child. I plan to sail in the Atlanta area and keep the boat on a trailer the rest of the time. I am looking for a Com-pac 16/2 with the bowsprit and 7/8th rig. Would this be a gotup for lake Lanier / Lake Oconee? Do you know of any that are for sale?

Answer: It will be a great boat for the lakes. A genoa would be a good option for your area. The 16s are getting few and far between and I don't currently have one for sale. We will have a 97 amd a 78 model for sale after the first of the year.

Message: How do I convert my CP 16 to a catboat that utilizes the masttender system. I am no longer physically able to remove the mast from the CP16 to trailer it.

Answer: We used a Picnic Cat rig on a 16 several years ago and it worked well. The only problem with that conversion was cost ($3,000), but I think we now have come up with a solution to that problem. The new conversion's total cost should be: Mast hinge, $135; Mast gallows $266, Mast stub, $?(small amount) and that's it. You move the tabernacle inside the boat under the vent. You connect the mast stub to the tabernacle, secure the stub in the vent hole and seal. Install the hinge on the top end of the stub, cut your existing mast and connect it to the hinge. The boom with the main sail will be secured to the groove in the stub under the hinge for storage. The mast folds into a mast gallows. The shrouds will need to be moved forward and the forstay will need to be reduced in length. The reason this conversion will work for you is because you are raising less mast and the mast doesn't have to be moved to trailer.

The old main sail will balance well in it's new position. The boat will have a little less total sail area, but that's OK if you live on the coast. I wouldn't do this type of conversion if I sailed on a lake. If you have to have more sail area, I would consider buying a new sail and spar and making a gaff rig. That would add sail area and keep the mast lenght right for trailering. A gaff rig would make a cool lake boat.

We sell the parts and they can be shipped by UPS.

Message: Interested to find out what rigging changes you make on picnic cats regarding throat and peak halyards and hardware to get 2:1 or better purhase making it easier for us older folks to raise the sail.

Answer: I think the problem is the drag between the current hardware and the halyards. It's normally pretty easy to raise the sail and the gaff until you reach a point where the boom has to leave the gallows. At that point, everyone has the same problem with all of our catboats (young and old). We use a barber haul system on the Sun Cats to raise the boom off the gallows and I think you can do the same thing with the Picnic Cat. Raise the sail and gaff to that hard t ad cleat the halyards. Grab the throat halyard about 2 feet above the bottom turning block and pull the halyard towards the stern. When the boom jumps off the gallows, hold that halyard in one hand and pull the tail through the jam cleat at the bottom. It's a 2-hand job.

Adding additional purchase power would add drag to the system and I don't that will work. More expensive blocks would make the system work better, but that's too much trouble and expense. I think the barber haul system is the only solution and it has worked for us.


Answer: We don't currently have an 84-94 16 in stock. We will be glad to restore a 16 for you when you find one.

Message: My wife and I are taking sailing lessons, and she loves it! I have been researching boats, and feel that a ComPac 16 is the right choice for us. (We will be sailing the Caloosahatchee River in SWFL). There happens to be one for sale close to us for a very reasonable price, but I have a couple of questions:
1. Is it possible to add a bowsprit to make better use of the jib?
2. Will this boat fit in a standard 2-car garage? Because of the high slip prices here, and the risk of hurricanes, I'm looking for a boat that we can pull into the garage if necessary for protection. If this boat will not fit, do you have any suggestions for us? My main goal it to get something that is stable, easy to maintain, and meets our size criteria.

Thanks in advance!

Answer: We have added a bowsprit to a Mark I 16. See the picture on our Web site under the DIY link, Project 10. The bow pulpit, sail and forestay need to be modified. It's a complicated project. The modification puts more sail area forward and helps balance a 16. The 16 were designed to fit in a standard garage.

You will love the 16. It can do what most large sailboats can do as a sail learning vehicle. You can get good at sailing with a 16. It's the ballast that makes the difference.

Message: I'm new to your site (and Compac's) and love it... I've read almost all the messages and answers (especially regarding Compac 16's) but have a really dumb question but haven't seen it asked yet... I'm using Colonite cleaner to get the little bit of oxidation off the boat and then the matching Colonite wax. Do you use these products on the no-slip surfaces on the deck? Thanks again for a great site and all the help.

Answer: The whole deck needs to be waxed. When a new boat is built, the builder uses mold release wax to remove the laminate from the mold. If they didn't use wax, they would never get the laminate out of the mold. That's the wax job that we see on a new boat for the first year or so after being built. The problem with waxing the non-skid is removing the excess wax and chalk. You have to do lots of rubbing. The old Mark 1 16s had a light non-skid and waxing their non-skid was easy. The newer boats have a deeper non-skid that makes waxing more difficult.

Message: I'm currently restoring a '83 Compac 16 for my dad and have a few questions before going any further...
1 - I've taken the rub rail off, drilled out the rivets, and have the deck completely removed from the hull. I'm nearly done restoring the inside so its almost time to put the boat back together... the question here is what type of chaulk or gasket do you put back where the deck and hull meet? Also, where can I find new rub rail to replace the old that I've taken off?
2 - I've also been considering painting the boat after I remove ten years of built up oxidation, but I've been getting lots of different advice on what type of dewaxer, primer, and paint to use. Didn't know if you had any specefics that you would suggest. Also, I'm wondering if bottom paint is a necessity. We trailer our boat to the coast and it would only stay in the water a few days at a time. Since I would be removing and painting over the gel-coat, would bubbling occur in the paint if I didn't use a bottom coat?
Thanks for your help and a great website.

Answer: The factory uses 3M5200 to seal the hull to deck joint. We sell new rub rail for the 16, but it would be best to order it from the factory and save a transportation charge. You can order rub rail by calling Jane at Com-Pac.

We use a light sandpaper to prepare a boat for painting. Alcohol is a good cleaner after sanding. We also use Awlgrip paint products to paint boats. Awlgrip is designed to brush, roll or spray. The other product made by Awlgrip is Awlcraft that's designed for spraying by professionals. Primer, thinner and paint all come as a system. It would be difficult to mix and match paint products today. The new paints are as hard as nails and really work well. I would bottom paint after I found that I needed to bottom paint. Bottom paint on a 16 is a maintenance item that should be avoided if possible.

Good luck with the project. I'm sure your 16 is going to be a great looking boat.

Message: I have a 1985 Compac 16 Mark I boat (no centerboard). I've been very happy with its build quality, ease of trailerability and launching, and the fact that I am able to sail with my wife and kids in confort.

What bothers me is that in certain conditions (especially in light air), I am never able to make a tack of 90 degrees. It's frequently more like 120. Also, when coming about, the boat stalls completely, and it takes some time until it gets on its way again; during this time the rudder is ineffective, and the boat continues turning more than I intended it to. This makes my headway to windward very little. Is there anything that can be done? Would aoa h elp? How about the Ida rudder? Or rigging the jib sheets through cabintop mounted blocks so I could get a tighter angle on the jib?

Thanks a lot

Answer: Sailing experience is the best teacher. I'm not as good as experience, but I'm going to give you a few hints concerning your pointing problem. Lets talk about slick water, dark spots on the water and dark spots everywhere. Water telltales tell us about wind speed and that's super important. The 16 sails best in slick water with a jib (less drag) and with a genoa in the other 2 conditions. In the first 2 conditions, I like to make the boat heel with my body weight on the low side. This heel angle helps the sails hang correctly and the keel points higher. You have to have boat speed to make a tack with any boat. The lower the speed, the better the tack has to be to be successful. I sometimes use my hand to bring the jib inside the shrouds on a 16 to squeeze the air between the jib and the main in condition 1. A genoa in condition 1 may have too much drag for boat control. Taking advantage of lifts and headers are the other part of our experience business. Tacking from a lift to a lift comes with experience and that will really make you look good. A roll tack in super light wind prevents the rudder stall you talked about and will get you through a tack with some speed. A roll tack requires physical work in the cockpit and it may not be appropriate for the family.

From our racing experience, we can say that a centerboard 16 will point about 5 degrees higher than your boat without a centerboard. We can also say that your boat will be faster downwind and that both boats have about the same speed on a beam reach. When we were racing 16s, I sailed a 16 using the hints above 30 degrees higher than another 16 in the same race. Make sure you have some twist in the main sail or the top will be stalled. Telltales on the jib and main are the best equipment addition. Anyone can sail well in condition 3 or higher wind conditions, but it takes some practice to be good at the low end. Good luck with the hints.

Message: I am interested in your opinion regarding converting to a gaff-rigged main, and changes in sailing characteristics there-of. What might I have to consider in the conversion other than the obvious, spars & rigging?

Answer: We have had some complaints concerning the raising and lowering of the gaff main. Most of the complaints come from catboat owners with large main sails. A Com-Pac 16 with a smaller main shouldn't have that problem. A gaff-rigged boat has several good sailing qualities. The rig is self-reefing in big wind and the boom doesn't drop into the cockpit in light wind. You really have more sail shape control with a gaff main. Some of the control features are automateis s wor modified a Com-Pac 16 into a gaff-rigged catboat several years ago with a Picnic Cat sailing rig. It sailed and balanced well. We also own a Com-Pac 23 that's been modified into a gaff headed sloop (Horizon Cat gaff main and a small jib). We like the way that boat sails. We plan on installing full battens in the main and a lazy jack system to help with the up and down problem.

Message: You seem like an innovative boat dealership, so here is my dilemma. I want a boat trailerable by a car that has 1500 lb capacity. Don't want to buy another car. Love suncat, but it weighs too much. Love picnic cat, but it is open. Legacy isn't just what I want and interior seems unuseable (it would be nice if whole topsides were raised about 4-6 inches to open berths). Has anyone given thought to putting a small catboat cabin on front of picnic cat for a simple double berth (mini suncat), sort of like Gardners topcat or the Jean Alden, which is an extended Bolger Bobcat? Or is there a reason why this would just not work. Maybe a dodger is the best that can be done.

Thanks for your input.

Answer: A basic fundamental of sailboat design is to keep the construction weight as low as possible. The Picnic Cat is not a ballasted boat and adding weight up high would make the boat more tender (tipsy). Boats that can turnover need a righting method that works. Standing on the centerboard to right an overturned boat that has a cabin would be difficult. The Tanzer people did make an over-nighter on their basic 16-foot sailboat that didn't sell very well. It had a little cabin for the reason stated above. I like your canvas idea. The English have been using daysailers as campers for what seems like forever. The picture below shows a double bimini Picnic Cat that works well. Adding curtains to the forward bimini would make a nice cabin.

Message: Thanks for your excellent site! I've been looking at your site as I learn more about my pre-compac Suncat. With a LWL of 16, a Displacement of 1100 and sail area of 165 sq ft (marconi), your calculator gives me a SADISP of 24.82 and a DISPWL of 119.89; quite different from the compac suncat which is shorter at the water, heavier and has a smaller sail area but different sail shape. I think because of the beam of the catboats, it's probably hard to compare these ratios with boats sloops, but what do these numbers tell me at least with regard to thefor s suncats. I'm guessing my is a bit faster and substantially less stable in higher wind. Can you give me a more robust comparision than that and explain how these ratios inform that comparison? Thanks!

Answer: You are using the calculator as it was intended and you came up with the right answer. You can compare all sailboats by their displacement, sail area and water line length. The best comparison is between boats of about the same general size. We have lots of new sailors that buy a lake boat (a light boat with lots of sail area) to sail in coastal conditions where we have lots of wind. They never learn to sail and quit sailing because it's just too hard to do. You need wind to learn how to sail and you need ballast and a moderate sail plan to see cause and effect while you are learning. The old salt knows what is suppose to happen before it happens. The new sailor needs to see it happen. If I remember correctly, I owned 8 lake boats before I really learned to sail in a boat that had enough ballast. When I owned a boat like yours, I did lots of reefing and sometimes I had a tiger by the tail. It was a great boat in moderate conditions. One time I jibed the boat in a big gust and did a 180. I wet my pants because I was on the low side. I didn't look like an experienced sailor when I did that maneuver in a high traffic area.

I think Clark Mill's designed your boat to have some speed in moderate conditions. Everyone back in the old days wanted clubs to buy and race their boats.

Message: I would like your take on westerbeke vs. yanmar diesal in the horizan cats.

Answer: The little Westerbeke has some problems. The engine is really a German engine that runs well most of the time. The problem with the engine was the accessories. Starting with problem one, the fan belt is located between the engine and the transmission requiring a tool link belt to make it work (no one wants to remove the engine and separate the engine from the transmission to change a fan belt). The second problem was the link belt had some stretch that didn't work well with the magneto styled alternator. A magneto has magnets that produce drag at startup causing belt adjustment problems. Probl three was parts. I think Westerbeke has discontinued sales of this engine.

The Yanmar works great and has lots of parts available. No problems.

Message: I plan to reseal the teak trim and metal fittings on my Compac. Based on your experience what do you think is the best caulk to use. Thanks.

Answer: We use 3M5200. We only seal the screws the hold the metal and teak in place. Remove a screw, clean the old caulk and then caulk only the screw. This procedure makes your boat dry and keeps the mess to a minimum.

Message: Congratulations on your article regarding how to fix leaks on a SunCat. It shows your great experience fixing boats.

Answer: Thanks for the kind words.

Added Answer to Message below: I forgot to list the best option a Sun Cat can have. The rudder raising and lowering handle option works great and Com-Pac has a model for the Sun Cat. The handle locks the rudder in the down position (except when you hit something). That option keeps the owner from hanging over the tramsom as he or she tries to secure the screw clamp that keeps the rudder down. You need long arms to secure the rudder at water level over the transom and you don't use the screw clamp with the handle option. I don't think Com-Pac list the rudder handle as as option for the Sun Cat, but it is available. It's also available as an add on for an existing boat. They are easy to install.

Message: Ordered a new Suncat back in December. I expect delivery near the end of Marc or early April. Just curious what equipment/extras you would suggest for the boat. Also, is there an option for easier reefing than that which comes standard. Thanks. I really enjoy this forum of questions and answers.

Answer: A gaff rig is self-reefing in big wind. As the wind builds, the gaff spar will swing out and dump sail power from the top of the sail. You could say that reefing is automatic.

I would varnish your tiller when you receive your boat. Com-Pac doesn't varnish tillers. Check to make sure that you have a dry boat. Leaks can happen around the mast. Look for water in the anchor locker. We have a solution for most configurations (lights or no lights). Check to see if you have leaks at the ports. Water will puddle under the cushions. It's rare to have leaks on a Com-Pac, but we check to make sure. We have installed several anchor rollers on Sun Cats. Installing them after the boat is built cost more money and takes more time. I think all Sun Cats need a gaff sock. The current plan is to rap a piece of rug around gaff's end to prevent the spar from making a hole in the sail as you go down the road. The sock cost $25 and that's cheap compared to a sail repair. Most current Magic Tilt trailers have bad fenders. The fenders are too close to the tires. We have been installing spacers to make them work without hitting the tires. They may have the problem fixed by the time you get your boat. The other options for a Sun Cat is a long list of items. Anything and everything is possible. We are currently putting a diesel in a Sun Cat chassis

Message: Hi, Keith. I'm enjoying the CP16 you helped me buy last July. I'm still sailing inland water with the standard jib and need some help downwind. Please recommend a suitable whisker pole and fittings for this boat. Is a whisker pole even appropriate for a standard jib, or should I consider going to a genoa? Are used sails worth considering? If so, can you recommend a good source? What would you consider a reasonable price for a used 150 genoa? Thanks.

Answer: A standard pole that we have used for years and years is the Forespar ADJ 4-8. It comes with a mast fitting and screws. The West Marine part number is 111153. Used genoas are like heeth. Not many around these days. A new genoa for your boat cost $400 including shipping.

Message: Hi Folks, I have been considering installing a boomkicker on my Sun Cat,what do you think? Also would a boom vang be required to make it work properly? I'm hoping that the kicker will make sailing solo easier. Your opinions are respected and appreciated. thanks

Answer: I don't have any experience with a boomkicker on a small boat. I did try a rigid boom vang on a larger boat several years ago and I didn't think it worked all that well. I had to play with the trim adjustments all the time. That rig maintained the boom at a predetermined level like a topping lift. Solo sailors use tricks to beat the odds. Raising and lowering your sails in a wind shadow is one that I use all the time.

Message: you mentioned a possable new horizon cat in a power boat type. what did you mean by power boat. did you mean outboard motor. Many thanks

Answer: I think the "Power Boat" that Com-Pac might build on a Horizon Cat chassis would have a diesel. They normally give a customer a choice of power and this could be the case with this boat.

Gerry (Com-Pac CEO) mentioned building a power launch built on a Horizon Cat chassis several weeks ago. I told him a trawler would be my choice for that modification. I'm sure the plans for the boat that I mentioned on the Web are still in the development stage.

The Sailboat Company thinks that a house on a Horizon Cat deck and hull would be a great looking boat. We plan on doing a custom house a Horizon Cat as soon as we have a willing volunteer for the first modification. With 6 feet of standing headroom and the wide deck and hull of a Horizon Cat, you might be able to square dance in the main cabin.

The Sun Cat that we are currently modifying gained lots of room on the inside and has the same configuration as the diesel Horizon Cat.

Message: I am planning on installing an electrical system on my 1983 Compac 16. What part numbers do you recommend and also locations for a bow light, stern light, cabin light and fuse panel.Thanks.

Answer: Boats 16 feet long or less in length do not require lights at night. This rule allows rowboats and other small boats that do not have a power system to be used at night. An all-around white light is normally used on small boats (16 feet or less) for safety purposes. Com-Pac decided in 1986 to install a standard set of running lights on the Com-Pac 16 Mark II as standard equipment and currently offers running lights on their Legacy and Sun Cat models as an option. Mounting running lights on a small boat has always been a problem because we have limited space on deck for a good installation.

To keep you’re cost down and because lights are rarely used on a Com-Pac 16, I would use the battery-operated light sold by West Marine. The part numbers are Bi-Color 8633380 and All-Round White 8633372. The inside light can be a 6-volt battery powered lamp. If you decide on a 12-volt system, a good fuse panel from West Marine is part number 1954874. Aqua Signal's series 25 lights from West Marine are currently used by Com-Pac. The part numbers are Bi-Color 174367 and Stern 174375. Mounts are required for installation and they are Rail Mount 203844 and Deck Mount 176347. Any 12 light will work as a cabin light.

The location for the bow light in this installation is on the bow pulpit. The stern light is on the deck next to the rudder. Other locations will work with different types of lights. The fuse panel is located on the inside bulkhead on the starboard side. West Marine sells several different lights that will work on a Com-Pac 16. The West Marine Advisor explains the rules for Navigation Lights in their catalog and reading the rules will ease your installation.

Message: A couple of comments and questions. First the Suncat is really easy to sail and rig solo as long as you have a decent way to get in and out at a ramp. I don't think you can turn the thing over at least not on a reach ultimately she starts to point up while dumping wind. It gets strange when you can't loose speed no matter how much sheet you let out. What was your wind guage ripples, all white caps etc? Lazy jacks would be nice solo in big wind as the boat blows off the wind fairly quickly and the sail gets hard to handle, tough to reef solo in big wind for the same reason small boat! How much slack do you want in the rig on the lee stay with the sail loaded? By the way, I think thae best point of sail is a run, easy to average 6 mph with a good wind 5 in a strong breeze On a reach by bearing off a tad and letting the sail out to about the edge of the cabin I have surfed to 7.5 and held over 6 mph. Another point is on a long run I find it is worth moving the traveler outboard so you can flatten the sail some and pull it off the stay some. She will sail herself pretty well on a run. Last, she points very good for a cat, but it is too much work to keep it in the groove really pinched, easier to bear off a tad, go faster and make it up the difference with a tack, afterall, tacking is nothing with no jib. Still happy with her.

Answer: My analysis of the Sun Cat's sailing ability is the same. She is a great sailing boat. Clark Mills did good. My wind reference for white caps everywhere is 12 knots. The rest of the reference is listed in my Sailing School link on the left. The slack in the leeward shroud isn’t too important. The sailing rig on those points of sail is really 2 shrouds and the mast or a tripod.

Message: Your site is great! I'm moving to Surf City in the spring and look forward to visting your shop. My question is about removing the swing keel from a Clark Mills Suncat. I want to remove it to paint it and replace the halyard, and to paint the keel pocket. My hull is a 1982 Clearwater Bay, I think hull 401. It's a cabin model with a swing keel encased in a wood finished center keel pocket inside the cabin. The keel looks like it's fiberglass, but there could be some ballast encapsulated inside it. I removed the port and starboard access pieces on the keel housing and I found ľ inch brass nuts on each side. Each of the nuts has a 3/8 inch brass plug in the middle of it. I'm guessing the method to use is to jack the keel up slightly to take pressure off the pin, remove both the brass plugs and use a smaller diameter bolt or other pin to knock the pin through from one side to the other. Is that right, or do I have to remove the 3/4 inch brass nuts and do more? I guess the next step is to jack the boat up to get at the keel.

Answer: We normally don't remove a centerboard to paint the centerboard and it’s housing. Only a small part of the centerboard and the centerboard housing is below the water line when the boat is in the water. We normally pickup a centerboard boat with a crane and lower the centerboard to the ground. We paint the board that's visible, making sure the part that's in the water is well covered. The same thing applies to the housing. While the boat is in the air, we change the centerboard pennant and any hardware that looks bad.

I don't know for sure, but I think your centerboard has some ballast installed in the board and it should be heavy. Be careful if you remove the board.

Message: I recently found your web site. It is quite informative. To my surprise, you described the Com-Pac 16 Trawler conversion! I am presently converting a Com-Pac 23 to a motor sailor-trawler. The cost you estimated is very close to my expenses as it is being completed. ($6000). My question is, I plan to install a 9.9 Evinrude as calculations made to date indicate this will take it to hull speed. I don't want an inboard as my plan is to use it year around. What are your thoughts on HP and wbest to attach it? Lower the transom, or hang it on an adjustable bracket?

Thanks agin for a great web site.

Answer: Your Evinrude may be a little large. A 5hp Honda is the perfect outboard motor for 23s in North Carolina and a remote control is available. Florida 23 owners like even smaller motors. Their standard motor for the 23 is a 4hp model. In my opinion, the boat sails best with a diesel that's mounted low in the middle of the boat. A diesel can be retrofitted anytime.

I like a jack plate for mounting an outboard. T-H Marine's jack plates are inexpensive and they look good. A long shaft motor should tilt up over the transom with the jack plate mounted high enough on the transom to make tilting possible. Check the top of the motor (adjustable mount in down the position) to its transom position on an average 23 as a good starting location for your installation. You may need to move your outboard up a little to make everything work as it should.

Message: Hi Keith,

Will a Horizon Cat's bow sprit fit on a Sun Cat? What needs to be done to make this happen?

Answer: Yes. Fold the forward inside bulkhead back after removing the 4 screws holding the bulkhead in place (See my last DIY article). You don't have to remove or disconnect the wiring. Remove the forestay tack fitting and fill the old holes with 3M5200. This will leave a flat surface on the bow for the new bowsprit installation. Drill new holes and install the new bowsprit. A new tack fitting will be required for the forestay and in most cases, a solid bobstay should be installed. If yoyour forestay longer and move the tack to the end of the bowsprit, a new jib could be installed. A gaff headed sloop is a pretty boat and this rig should sail well. This type of rig is what the English sailed 100 years ago.

Message: Greetings Keith,

Are there any major differences between a 1987 and a 1982 model CP 19. My old boat Sanity (the 1987) was a mark II, I am being told the 1982 I have located for purchase is also a mark II. I have not been able to see the boat yet and would like to know what changes or modifications may have been made between those years.

I have another question for you.

I seem to recall seeing a price breakdown and work scope of the different restorations offered by the Sailboat Company on your web site a while back.

Is that information still available?

Thanks again Keith you guys are the best in the business, I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best regards.

Answer: A 1982 Com-Pac 19 is a Mark I. The Mark I was a very plain boat with aluminum pulpits. The pulpits were an option on the 19, but most 19s had them installed. Almost everything on the boat was an option when we sold them and we ordered a standard set of options for most of our boats. Our options included genoa tracks and the pulpits for the Mark I. The Mark II was a big improvement and it had a teak interior, stainless steel pulpits, a bowsprit and the late model Mark II boats also had halyards lead aft. Some Mark I owners may have modified their boats with some of the new Mark II improvements over time. The difference in value between a used Mark I and a used Mark II Com-Pac 19 is substantial.

Business has been too good. We took our improvement list off the Web because we had a hard time keeping up with all the work. We still do most of the Com-Pac repairs, changes and improvements for our Com-Pac customers, but we don't advertise that capability. We will be glad to talk to you about your new boat when the time comes.

Message: What would the approximate cost of having the bottom painted on my Seaward?


Answer: We only paint bottoms on boats that we sell. We recommend Terry's Boatworks in New Bern, NC for general bottom painting. Her phone number is 252 259 7052 and her email address is

Message: I have a 1980 Compac 16 (#1278). I want to add Genoa Tracks. Do you sell these? Also, do you sell a Traveller for the main sheet? I am interested in any other upgrade suggestions you might have, too.

Thanks very much

Answer: The Genoa Tracks are available from West Marine, part number 184046. They are a Schaefer product, part number 75-05-72. I would look fo encaps on Schaefer's Web site. West may have them or they can get them for you with a special order. The same tracks with the right blocks will work as a mid-boom traveler. A less expensive way to do the same thing is to use a boom vang. Set the vang to a position that will limit boom lift. This will maintain mainsail twist as you adjust your main sheet. A traveler is designed to change mainsail trim while maintaining sail twist. Both systems will do the same thing and the vang cost less.

Good options for the Mark I 16 are a ladder and the boom tender system with the mast gallows (See the DIY section on this Web site). There are lots of other options that are available, but they are more customer specific .

Message: Greetings from sunny Florida. While I enjoy my Slipper 17, she has some issues when it comes to the kind of shallow water sailing that is common down here. I begrudge her fixed rudder and the difficulty in mounting a ladder. I am buying a old school suncat (twin bilgeboards, no keel, and open cockpit) from a friend up the road. Do you know anything about the history? Hulls look pretty similar except for the stub keel. Any known weaknesses? She is in amazing shape for her age and being sailed regularly. Wish me luck.\ Lee (can I join the Com-Pac group?}.

Answer: I remember the old Clark Mills Sun Cats. The most popular boat was the cabin model with the centerboard in the cabin. Clark hired the glasswork done by someone else and his marina assembled and the finished boats. I purchased 1 new boat way back when and it had some glass issues. The cabin wood on the inside was wonderful because Clark employed some excellent carpenters at the time. Clark also had one other builder building Sun Cats in Tennessee at about the same time. I'm not sure how many boats he built.

A Sun Cat sails like it's glued to the water. I followed a Sun Cat across the Pamilico Sound one time in some strong winds. I was amazed at well she rode the waves with 1 sailor on board. I was on larger boat that didn't do as well. I once put a Com-Pac 23 bowsprit on a Sun Cat. I noticed that the bowsprit fit like it was made for the Sun Cat. I have concluded that most designers may use parts of a good design on several different boats. I think the Com-Pac 23 may have a little Sun Cat in its bow.

Sorry, you have to own a Com-Pac to be a member of the CPYANC.

Message: Sir,

I noticed in your "What's New" section that you installed a "Summer Cabin" on the Sun Cat Lagniappe. I was wondering how much it cost, and did you do the sewing or did you have it made elsewhere and just installed it. It looks very nice and quite use full.

Answer: We make the Sun Cat "Summer Cabin" in house. The cost is $1,200 plus shipping.

Message: I made the dumb mistake last Spring of seeing my boat newly rigged & splashed, and going for a sail without adequetly inspecting the rigging. It turns out that the standing rigging was too loose, and we quickly retreated, but not until damage had been sustained to the mast step. Specifically, the plastic work surrounding the interior bulkhead door on both sides was broken (door to vee-berth). Aside from the damage to the plastic parts (they were obviously chrushed), I can see nor feel any other problems; however, I wonder if any damage to the internal structure of the mast step may exist. I assume that the mast step portion of the cabin roof is plywood, and not any other type of coring. Is this correct? Should I get a survey? If no other work is required, how tough is it to simply replace the plastic parts?

Answer: The short answer is "no problem", just replace the plastic parts. Ask Com-Pac for 2 new replacement bulkhead blocks and they will put them in the mail. The bulkhead blocks were made out of teak on previous models and they had the same problem. The purpose of the blocks is to keep the bulkheads from moving towards the center of the boat. The bulkheads between the cabins function as a mast compression post on the Com-Pac 23. When you tension the mast, the sides of the hull and the bulkheads move towards the center of the boat. We have a point where the rigid deck, hull construction and the blocks will stop this movement. We are talking about some very small distances. Because your boat was new and the initial block placement is only a guess, your blocks were doing all the work on the first sail and they failed. Now that the hull and deck are doing part of the work, drill new holes in the new parts and install the new blocks in the old screw holes. If the bulkheads have moved where you can't use the old holes, consider drilling new holes in the overhead or moving the bulkheads out a little to hit the old holes.

I don't think a loose rig will damage a Com-Pac 23. Your boat should be fine with a little adjustment.

Message: I have a 1998 CP16 CB. A great boat in so many ways, except for the lack of a stern mounted boarding ladder. I think they are essential for saftey. Do you carry them or can you recommend a manufacture that offers one that would fit?

Answer: Com-Pac makes a ladder for your boat. It's a stainless fold-up ladder that will fit your boat. We sell the ladder for $272 plus $35 for shipping. We can have Com-Pac drop-ship it to your address if you prepay the above amount. A personal check is satisfactory and you can mail it to The Sailboat Company, PO Box 575, Richlands, NC 28574. It will make a great Christmas gift. Thanks.

Message: I would like to get sail numbers for my Compac 16 MK III. Who determines the numbers and where can I get them? I'm having fun with this beautiful boat acquired through your company last summer. I enjoy visiting your informative website. Thanks!

Answer: Almost all sailmakers will make numbers for your 16. The correct number is part of the serial number on the top port side of the transom. It will start with the letters ABV. That's the code letters for Com-Pac and then you will see a long number. Your number should be 4 numbers because you have a late model 16. Those 4 numbers are your sail number. The numbers are iron on and easy to install. One of the best sailmakers for Com-Pac sails is Super Sailmakers. Their address Thanks for the nice words.

Message: Hi Keith; I'm working on safety planning for my 2001 Suncat. I'm using the Small Craft Advisor seaworthiness quiz as a means to identify weak points and will fix as many as are practical. What is the flotation situation for the 2001 model Suncat, does it have foam flotation or a designed air flotation scheme? Another thing they talk about that may not be practical is some way to lock the centerboard down in rough weather so if it rolls the board doesn't slam back into the trunk which makes self-righting more unlikely and could cause a big leak even if it rights. Any ideas on that front? I'm a little torn on that as another tactic I'm familiar with if being hit by a squall is get the sail down, pull the board up to let the boat slip. Obviously my first plan would be to stay out of dangerous weather but planning for the worst is usually a good thing to do. I will be adding hasps to cockpit locker covers and have plugged both mast and stub. I know enough to have hatch closed with board in if it gets rough and will be doing some light air reefing drills to learn how to do it and look for reef system improvements. Have a good Thanksgiving and thanks for everything...

Answer: The Sun Cat doesn't have positive foam floatation. The amount of foam required to make a boat with ballast float when it's full of water would require lots of foam and that would reduce the space for people and gear inside the boat. The Sun Cat does have foam built into the hull and deck, but it there for structural purposes and not for floatation purposes. The weight of a Sun Cat centerboard is about 40 pounds. The stainless centerboard falling into a stainless housing isn't going to do any damage. I have never heard of a Com-Pac turning over to prove my point.

All of your heavy weather precautions sound good to me. As a general rule, I like to think that shallow draft boats with ballast can't turnover when the waves are smaller than the length of the boat. A good general rule for small boats is to stay out of the ocean in bad weather.

Message: My catboat sideswiped a dock and got some superficial scrapes on the dark green hull. I tried getting them out with rubbing compound... didn't work. I then used some dark green gelcoat from the factory mixed with MEK and brush-painted over the long scratches. I had no idea how much MEK to use. When everything dried, the color match was quite good. But the sheen is dulled where I painted and the brush strokes are somewhat visible.

I read somewhere that there's a minute amount of wax in gelcoat and you should wipe some acetone over it to remove the wax. Then you should buff your heart out. Am I on the right track?

By the way, I love your website and have learned a great deal every time I drop in.

Answer: The first decision we have to make when we have a gel-coat scrape is the extent of the damage. Can you see glass in the damaged area? If you can't see glass under the gel-coat in the damaged area, we normally don't add more gel-coat. We buff the scrape or scratch to remove the damage. If we need to add gel-coat to the problem area, we mix 2% MEK with our gel-coat. In the real World, we add a drop of MEK to a dab of gel-coat. The gel-coat can't be worked until the next day. Wet-sand the raised gel-coat repair with 1K sandpaper. A sanding block helps and you should protect the undamaged area with tape. When the gel-coat repair is level with the surrounding area, buff the area to a high gloss. The wax in the gel-coat is not a problem. It is designed to cover the gel-coat surface after the repair and make it kick. Using too much MEK normally causes a dull appearance. If you don't have a super strong professional buffer, buffing anything normally doesn't work. Good luck with the repair.

Message: I currently sail a Potter 15 on NY State Mountain lakes. Lake George is surrounded by mountains on the E and W. The lake runs N to S and generally the wind blows from the south. The Potter does well for the most part but it's cockpit is so small that even one guest is cramped. I'm looking for a boat with a larger cockpit to sail on the lakes of the Adirondaks. The bottom is often rock and a centerboard is a good thing. It is more important to me to be able to launch and recover from a trailer singlehanded, than it is to have a cabin to store equipment. I daysail or camp on the shore. Many lakes are accessed by streams that go under bridges. The ability to raise and lower the on the water gives access to alot of new lakes. I don't care to race, I cruise. I'd like to take 3 or 4 guests with me on occasion. I've sailed for a many years but still consider myself a novice. I think I should sell the Potter and move to a Com-Pac. In your opinion, would the out of production CP-16 III be appropiate or should I stear clear of a cabin and go to the Picnic Cat? The Sun Cat would be my third choice but it's more boat than I really want.(need?) Final question: My wife has family in Virginia and she alwas wants me to come with her to visit them. When is the next time you will be at a boat show, and how far is the show from Norfolk ? You have a really great site, and your "Sailing School" answered a lot of questions that have benn puzzleing me for years..

Answer: I'm glad our "Sailing School" helped. I really like the finesse of sailing small boats and I know the more you sail, the better you get. You never stop learning when it comes to sailing.

The CP-16 III would be my choice. It has the centerboard for the rocks and it also has the ballast you need for lowering and raising the mast on the water. I would add a "Boom Tender" with a mast gallow to make lowering and raising mast work. You can sail a shoal draft ballasted boat in almost any wind condition. That's me sailing a CP-16 III on 2Jun06 by myself. Click Results under Com-Pac Performance on the left. There are 2 pictures that shows the wind conditions on that day. I can remember that it was blowing pretty good that day.

Finding a used CP-16 Mark III for sale will be difficult. The new CP-16 (Legacy) is really a modified CP-16 and it has the centerboard and "Boom Tender" system. It also has 40% of its total displacement in ballast making it a great boat to sail. Sailing 4 people at the same time is no problem.

Our next boat show is Raleigh, NC in February 2008.

Message: Hello Keith; Could you tell me how much work it is to install the factory folding ladder on my 2001 Sun Cat? I've come to the conclusion this ladder is the best one for the boat and the boat will typically be moored just offshore at my place up north, not docked, so the ladder will be the primary boarding method. What kind of backing plates or support is there at the transom bolt locations? How do you get access to the transom and how should the ladder be located? Should I order it from Hutchins or do you have one you want to sell? Thanks in advance.

Answer: It's a big job if you do it the hard way. If you were going to do lots of work on the4 4ransom, you would remove the tiller horn from the cockpit and gain access that way. Removing the tiller horn is a 3-day job and that's the hard way. The 3M5200 really works well on the tiller horn. If I was going to install a ladder, I would cut an access hole and install an access port (a round port that screws into a base that's available from West Marine). The access port would be centered under the folded ladder when it was installed. If you have a white hull, a white port will work well and also look good. The transom on the Sun Cat has a built-in backing plate. I would use 3M5200 and washers under the ladder bolts and nuts. The mounting procedure is put the ladder halfway between the rudder and the starboard edge of the boat. Make sure the ladder's vertical dimension (left side of ladder) is parallel with the rudder when you look at the ladder and rudder from the stern.

You can order your ladder either way. You may have to wait 2 weeks to have 1 made. Business has been good.

Message: Hi Keith

In the design for this boat boat, what is the specification for mast rake?

Answer: The rake of your mast is a dynamic specification. If you normally carry and sail with 4 large people in the cockpit, you would move the top of the mast as far forward as possible to obtain a balanced boat sailing on the wind in 10 knots of wind. If you normally sail with 2 small people in the cockpit, only would only move the top of the mast forward enough of balance your boat. A well balanced Com-Pac 23 has a small amount of weather helm sailing on the wind in 12 knots of wind. 12 knots of wind can be identified when you see whitecaps everywhere, 11 knots of wind is 1 whitecap now and then and 10 knots is darks spots everywhere.

Message: I have a West Wight Potter 19 but I find it cramped inside and shes very slow in light wind. At times I also find it tedious to raise the sails. I'm thinking of getting a catboat with just one sail to worry about. Howeverm the WWP 19 does have floatation that I like and it's relatively cheap ( I bought it new in 2003) Should I trade it in for a Horizon? I also hate the lack of privacy when using the head.

Answer: We can take a West Wright Potter as a trade-in on a Horizon Cat. Back when I was learning how to sail, dealers didn't take trade-ins on new sailboats and it was hard to go from boat to boat. We now do trade-ins when we can and most sailors go from boat to boat as they gain their sailing experience.

I remember owning 9 sailboats before I really learned how to sail. Most sailors have a hard time learning sail shape and trim on a light boat and my budget required a light boat at that time. Light and cheap go hand in hand when you’re talking sailboats. Light air sailing is the most difficult type of sailing. Making a boat go in flat water and no wind is close to magic.

Message: Would like to lead halyards aft and looking for used bronze Barlow 15 for the cabin top to match existing. Do you have one available? Thanks

Answer: Sorry. Good used Barlow 15s with the composite top ring are few and far between. The ring cracks after many years in the sun and makes the winch useless.

Message: I see you are redesigning the Compac 16 "trawler". The picture on your site shows a simpler "mock-up" of the wheelhouse. What is the material used and how will it be finished? Also you state the motor size is up to 25 HP- are you stengthing the stock transom for this ?

Answer: There are several materials that will work. The house on our first boat used 1/4 inch "Luan" panels covered with fiberglass cloth and paint. Our current building material of choice is a foam and fiberglass composite called "Coosa". This material is lighter, waterproof and works like wood. We cover the "Coosa" with a thin fiberglass panel that has a white gel-coat on one side. Both materials are available at marine supply stores like Paxton in Norfolk, VA. We spray paint the finished boat with "AWLGRIP". They say you can use a roller with that paint, but we always use a spray gun with good results.

The "mock-up" picture shows how we build our templates. We make templates so we can check fit and appearance before we start cutting our more expensive materials. The best engine for the Trawler is a 10-hp model that doesn't require lots of reinforcement. An added backing plate for a 10-hp motor will work. A Mini jack plate from T-H Marine mounts the motor in the middle of the transom and we use a long shaft motor.

We plan on writing a "How To" section on Trawler construction this coming winter. The flat floor on the inside and other building steps need to be covered in detail. Look for it on this Web site soon. The most difficult part of Trawler construction is the top of the house. The top will be available early next year as a mail order item. It will be a fiberglass laminate that can be shipped by truck and will cost about $500 and shipping cost.

Message: Is it possible to retrofit the garage package option to a used suncat? If so, is it possible to schedule such a update during a two week vacation in your area. You have a great web site.

Thanks for your help.

Answer: Yes, a retrofit is possible. See the DIY project #13 on our Web site. We can mail you 2 short pieces of stainless steel tubing that's used as boom gallows splices. You cut your gallows using a hack saw, finish the ends and then glue the splices we send you inside the existing pipes (See Project #10). The upper part of the gallows is removed from the lower part of the gallows by pulling it up and out and laying it down. The mast, boom and gaff lay on top of the boat.oject #13 shows how to handle the front end of the mast in some detail. Doing both ends will work using a standard 7 foot garage door.

We can do the work for you if you desire. Let us know your vacation schedule so we can schedule your work. Thanks.

Message: I stopped in last Wednesday and wanted to thank you for the time spent with me and the information provided. On the drive back to Hampstead, in my mind, I was set on the 82 Compac 16 we discussed. However, my family advisors indicate that "I may sometimes need to carry four or five passengers, and the Compac 17's are still within the 2,000 lb. towing capability of my Wrangler".

You and I did discuss the 01 Compac 17's but my impression was that these may not be the best sailboat for a beginner. I thought the ballast was significantly lower than on the Compac 16 which might be the issue with learning to sail.

What our your thoughts on this?

Answer: I think a sloop with 2 sails is the best boat when it comes to learning how to sail. You can see how the wind is flowing in and off the jib and how it modifies the main. Once you master sail shape with a sloop, sailing a cat boat with 1 sail and gaff is the next step up. The gaff is a fine sail shape adjustment tool. Fine adjustments to sail shape are possible with a gaff. I miss the gaff sail shaping capability when I'm sailing a sloop. The Sun Cat has less ballast, but it is really stiff and feels the same as other Com-Pac Yachts.

Message: The com-pac 16 with the picnic cat rig- did you guys set that up or was it a trade in? Would the sun cat rig be too big?

Answer: We modified the Com-Pac 16 that's listed on our Web site several years ago. The extra sail area from a Sun Cat rig would work fine in light wind areas like some lakes. I think the Sun Cat rig could be a handful in some windy locations. Most sailboats should be customized for your local sailing area.

Message: I have been considering a Suncat sailboat for its ease of transportation and set up. I have two questions that I have not found an answer. The garage option apparently requires only 6 foot height, but I cannot find the total length required for the boat and trailer. Is there a folding option for the front of the trailer? Also, how does the set up and ease of use from a trailer compare between the suncat and the Horizion cat. Your web site has been very enjoyable and informative.

Thanks for your help.

Answer: The length of a Sun Cat on a trailer is about 17 feet including the rudder and another 4.5 feet from the boat's bow to the trailer hitch. You can reduce this length by putting the boat in the garage at an angle. A standard garage door has a 7 foot clearance from top to bottom. The trailer cannot be folded.

The Sun Cat mast is the easy mast to raise. Most small people can raise the Sun Cat mast without any help. The Horizon Cat has a standard remote system for raising the mast and requires more effort. I can raise the Horizon Cat mast manually by myself, but I prefer the electric winch system I installed on my Horizon Cat rigged Com-Pac 23. I would never install an electric winch on a Sun Cat because it's too easy to raise by hand.

Message: Keith, although I know you addressed this issue a couple of years ago on your Answers board, we are interested to know if there is a retrofit possible for a small, removable fill-in section with a cushion insert to increase the area near the forward bulkhead for the upper torso when we are sleeping aboard inside (I usually sleep outside on the converted teak floorboards that I fitted with fold-out feet to be flush with the cockpit bride deck and seats) the cabin. I remember that the Hutchins Bros. offered this at the start of the Suncat production run, but pretty quickly eliminated it. We would like to know if a kit is available. Thanks for any help.

Answer: Good n The Sun Cat kit is avale for $350 plus shipping and installation. The cushions in the kit can be used as seat backs when they are not being used to make a larger bunk. I think the official name for this modification is the "Honeymoon" option. Two people can sleep side by side on the beam-ends of the boat.

Message: My Sun Cat sits on a Performance single axle trailer and there is one roller under the centerboard trunk. I have a word of caution and a question. The word of caution is the roller does not contact the shoal keel and so there is a few inches of clearance between the leading edge of the centerboard and the roller if the centerboard lanyard is cleated up tight. When the boat is trailered down often bumpy ramp roads to the launch site that centerboard penant takes a beating as the centerboard's mass reacts to jounce and rebound of the trailer going over those bumps. I always uncleat the centerboard penant and let the board rest on the trailer roller to avoid impact loads on the lanyard which will likely break it over time. Some centerboard boats use a thru-pin to lock the board up but the Com Pac does not have this. Of course you have to remember to pull the centerboard back up and cleat the penant before launch or retrieval. Now my question having read about the centerboard electrolysis problems does this 2001 boat have a zinc on the centerboard and if yes, where is it on the board? If the keel roller were temporarily removed from the trailer could the board be lowered enough to service the zinc on the trailer? If not could you install a zinc on the bottom leading edge of the board that would be accessible by removing the roller and dropping the board on the trailer? Thanks as always for any ideas.

Answer: Early Sun Cats didn't have zincs installed on their centerboards. Our yard installed zincs on those early boats when owners purchased bottom paint. Com-Pac started installing zincs on all Sun Cats centerboard soon thereafter. The installed zincs are small and need to be replaced often. We replace them when the boat is being removed from the trailer for bottom paint and they always need to be replaced. I do not know if they can be replaced with a roller removed from the trailer. I think a new set could be installed in the visible part of the centerboard when a roller is removed. I think the stock location for the zincs might be too high on the board.

If I was going to put an early model Sun Cat in a slip, I think I would do something else. Because the centerboard housing is very difficult to replace on early model Sun Cats and a zinc on the centerboard itself may only protect the board and not the housing, I think I would try plan "B". I would connect a large zinc to a flexible wire and drop it over the side. The other end should be connected to the centerboard housing pennant tube inside the boat through the seat hatch. The electrical connection between the centerboard zinc and the housing is through the bolt.

Message: Hi Folks, You have stated that you have installed lazy jacks on a sun-cat 17. I sail alone in coatal N.J. where we often have winds of 15-20 mph, I would like to hear your opinion on whether or not you feel the installation of lazy jacks are worth the effort. I realize there are many variables ,the biggest might be individual expierience. Just wanted to hear your take on this, as you guys know what you're talking about. Thanks

Answer: We have more experience installing Lazy Jacks than we have sailing with them. I plan on sailing a modified Com-Pac 23 with a Horizon Cat rig when the weather cools off some. I need to install a set of Lazy Jacks on that boat before I go sailing. Last yeai, the biggestisle on that boat was folding the sail when it was time to come home. My sail is larger than your Sun Cat and in 15 to 20 mph, it can be a tiger by the tail. On a Sun Cat, Lazy Jacks may be a tossup because of sail size. I'm sure Lazy Jacks will help me with my sail-folding problem when the wind is blowing big time.

Message: Hello Keith; I got through a major first round of getting my 2001 Sun Cat ready for sailing and garage storage. I successfully rigged the boat and got the sail re-installed on the trailer so that mystery is solved. Once you have seen it rigged it is pretty simple. for the garage storage I cut the gallows off using a brand new Rigid pipe cutter (sharp wheel) which left virtually no marks on the stainless gallows uprights even without any polishing. The upright tubes turned out to be 1" OD and I bonded 3" of the 6" long 7/8" pipe sections you sent me into the uprights on the boat. The Gallows slides on and off nicely and when installed it is hard to see any evidence of modification. On the mast plugs I deviated slightly from your method. I visited West Marine and the smallest piece of Starboard they had was about 12'x24" and $30. I decided that was too much. I did buy their small Evercoat polyester fiberglass repair kit, mainly to do the cockpit drain reinforcement you reccomended as a leak fix, then went down the street to the hobby shop and bought a piece of 1/4" thick balsa for less than $4 and cut a couple small pieces of the fiberglass cloth from the evercoat kit and bonded to each side of a couple of 4" square pieces of the balsa. I used a piece of construction paper set over the mast stub and very lightly tapped around the inside edge of the mast stub with the ball end of a ball pein hammer to get a nice accurate template, traced around the template onto the laminated balsa pieces, cut with a jigsaw, trim sanded to press fit, coated edges with polyester and tapped in. Perfect. The trailer can now be backed into the garage far enough to get the axle onto the flat floor of the garage floor with the gallows removed. To get the mast stub into the garage I have to remove the 2 mast hinge bolts and push the mast down flush with the top of the stub. I then have to disconnect the trailer, remove tongue and so far have used a floor jack to allow the jack wheel to be folded and let the frame down to where it just clears the floor. I will replace the folding jack wheel with a fixed jack wheel assembly that will allow the front of the frame to drop to the same height without messing around with a floor jack. Here then are my next projects and questions: I am working on several anchor schemes. For sure I am installing a deck pipe to utilize the anchor rope locker. From there I am torn between installing an anchor roller or installing a bow pulpit with the West Marine anchor rail straps that pick up the stock either side of the flukes. The roller has mechanical advantage but limits anchor size to one that fits the roller and requires more hole fastener holes. Also I plan to install an electrical system including battery, nav lights, bulkhead mounted sounder, knot meter and compass with lights. I will be starting from scratch as the boat was not equipped with the factory electrical pkg. Where does the factory locate the bow light, stern light and switch panel? Can the factory pkg parts be purchased from Com Pac and how much for the parts roughly? Back to the bow pulpit, you now offer a pulpit and it looks like it has a bow light bracket. This item could make both the anchor scheme and bow light scheme come together nicely. How much is the pulpit and mounting hardware? Thanks a ton for your help.

Answer: I think working on your own boat is almost as good as sailing and I think that you have a handle on that part of our sport. We have installed 2 different pulpits on Sun Cats. I like the Com-Pac 16 pulpit the best. The other pulpit we used was a Com-Pac 23 pulpit and it was a little high. The 16 pulpit cost $230 plus shipping. Installation can be a problem. We had to cut the feet off of 1 pulpit and re-weld to get the right angle. I think that was the 23 pulpit, but I'm not sure. Both pulpits come with a bow light holder that can be removed if you don't have lights.

The standard factory bow light on a Sun Cat (cats eye lights) are no longer available. The current bow light is mounted on the mast with the steaming light while the stern light is mounted on the boom gallows. I think I would find someplace else to mount the stern light because the wires need to be inside the gallows uprights. You might be able to make it work if your upright splice is close to the bottom. Making the hole for the wires at the bottom of uprights can be hard work. The circuit breaker panel is mounted on the starboard side of the forward bulkhead and the battery is installed behind the door. In most cases, a light installation kit will cost more than individual components from West Marine. You have to search for the correct circuit breaker panel that's inexpensive from West Marine. Maybe buying what you can from West Marine and then getting the rest from the factory would be a good solution.

It sounds like you are going to have a great boat. They sail really well.

Message: Hi. Do you sell or know about a kit that could give me a jib for my Sun Cat? I think that even a small jib would help me in pointing higher with this boat. I also wanted to know how much a bimini cost, as well as any special things that would make the inside of the boat more livable, such as custom shelving or something along those lines? Thanks for the reply.

Answer: A small jib can be added for light air performance. A modified Com-Pac 16 Mark I jib would cost about $350 and the hardware to make it work would cost another $350 (owner installed). You can compare your pointing ability to what we did with a Sun Cat last year. Look at our Com-Pac Yacht Performance Results on the left side of our Home Page and run the Sun Cat race. I think the Sun Cat pointed very well in those wind conditions. I also think a Sun Cat could use some added horsepower in light air.

A bimini cost $562 plus shipping and it can be shipped UPS.

We customize Com-Pac Yachts. Shelves, louvered doors, seat backs and other inside modifications are all possible. We call these modifications winter projects and we need your boat on our yard to perform most of these modifications.

Message: In yacht specifications what is PHRF


Answer: PHRF (Performance Hanicap Racing Fleet) is a racing handicap system for sailboats. A local committee determines a new boat's PHRF based on other sailboats with similar specifications. Your PHRF is listed on our Yacht Database on the left. Handicaps can vary from area to area.

Message: Who manufactures the portlights. I need to replace the hard and cracked rubber seals. Love the website and plan to stop by and say Hi soon. Thanks

Answer: Several different vendors made the bronze ports for the CPac 27. Most of those vendors were located in the Far East. I don't think replacement gaskets are available for your ports and I would only replace a gasket if it leaked. Make sure you adjust your ports before you replace a gasket. Some of the gaskets in new ports were hard and cracked. Most automobile parts stores sell cork gasket material. Use gasket cement to seal the cork gasket to the port. Adjust the port (top and bottom) so the high point on the glass part of the port leaves an impression 360 degrees around the cork. Most ports that leak only seal at the bottom. The top part of the port needs to be adjusted on most ports that leak.

Stop by and see us anytime. We like to talk boats.

Message: Hi Folks, Really great site! I was going to ask about lazy jacks for my Sun Cat but I see that you have already answered it in your questions section. I would like to be considered for your owners club if it is open to yankee out of staters like me. My boat is new this year, I only wish that I lived closer to your shop so that I could have purchased it from you, my dealer was ok but sells mostly big boats and didn't seem very interested in after market options like you guys are. Thanks again for the great site.

Answer: Thanks for the kinds words. You are now a member of the CPYANC. An email will explain the password procedure.

Message: I just purchased a 2001 Com Pac Sun Cat from Yacht Works in Sister Bay, WI. The boat was sailed exactly once by the previous owner who then carefully stored it away for the winter in a closed garage, then died, so the boat is essentially a brand new boat. The boat was completely de-rigged and sail removed for a 235 mile trip to it's new home, my summer home in Garden, MI on Lk Michigan where it will spend part of it's time sitting outside but on the trailer, some of the time moored in the water and I want to store it in my new garage there for the winter.

I have 2 questions: Not being familiar with cat-rig sail rigging I ordered an owner's manual from Hutchins. Will the manual have good pictorials and pictures on how the mast is rigged for sail handling? If not how could I get a pictorial diagram showing proper routing of throat halyard/gaff halyard/boom and gaff connections to mast, boom control rigging, etc and explanation of how the center board depth is controlled?

Second question has to do with how best to reduce the overall height of the boat on the trailer to get it through my standard 84" high garage door openings for winter storage. It looks like the gallows is the worst problem as it measures about 96" off the ground with the boat trailer frame fairly level and the mast at the stub is about the same height when folded. If the gallows and standing rigging including mast and stub were removed I think the boat would go right into the garage. It looks like removing the gallows is a big project because the bolts on the tube flanges at the deck are probably secured under the deck with lock nuts and you would have to take off the rudder pass-thru to get to these nuts. I'm thinking an easier way is to use a tubing cutter and cut the gallows uprights about 6" above the deck then finding some close fitting tube sections to insert at the cut to make a sleeve joint similar to your DIY project on the C16 bow pulpit. This way the pulpit could be lifted off to store the boat and slid back on for sailing. As for the mast stub is it feasible to remove the base bolt below deck and un-step the stub provided it is properly re-sealed when it is re-installed? Is there anything else holding the stub in place? I'm thinking halyards could be removed from deck routing hardware, boom control could be outfitted with a snap swivel at the car for easy removal, side stays could be disconnected from deck stays and the sail could remain on the boom with sail cover and mast/boom/gaff could all be lashed together and removed as a unit from the boat. With all of that standing rigging and gallows off the boat it should be just a matter of rolling th boat into the garage. Any ideas or comment on this lunacy is welcomed. Thanks in advance for your time.

Answer: If I remember correctly, the Sun Cat manual isn't going to help all that much with your rigging problem. The Sun Cat brochure has the best rigging picture. The good news is that when you start rigging your boat, you will figure out how it done by trial and error. The sail should only be removed for major maintenance or replacement because it takes a long time to reinstall. I don't think you will have any major problems when you rig your boat. The centerboard is either up or down. We normally forget to secure the centerboard line when we launch our boat and the centerboard will get stuck on the last trailer roller. Then we have to bring the boat back on the trailer and secure the line with the board up.

You are right about the boom gallows. Cut the tubes about 12 inches above the deck. I use a cut off saw with a metal blade. I strap the saw to the tubes. The mast stub can be reduced in height by installing another hinge above the deck. Install the new hinge backwards and fold the stub forward for the garage. Your idea will work, but unsealing the 3M5200 will be a job. Keep as many parts and pieces connected as possible. Good luck with the project.

Message: What are the most important differences between the ComPac 16, 16II and 16III?

Answer: The Com-Pac 16 Mark I is a very basic boat with an aluminum bow pulpit and a 3/4th headsail rig. The Com-Pac 16 Mark II, vintage late 1985, cost $1,600 more retail than the previous Mark I and had lots of improvements. The Mark II has a stainless steel pulpit, 7/8th headsail rig with a bowsprit, genoa tracks, 5 square feet more sail area and some fancy teak on the inside. The Mark III came along in 1988 and added an opening see-through hatch on the foredeck and room for a gas tank in the cockpit.

Message: The portlights on my recently purchased 87 19/II have that salty green look to them. How do I get them back to the clean looking bronzes again. 2Thanks and really enjoy your web site.

Answer: We use a solution of vinegar, salt and water to remove the ugly stuff. Remove the ports and soak the bronze parts overnight in this solution. Clean and polish the ports after the soak and then spray a light mist of varnish for a lasting finish.

Message: My wife and I have 2 small children, ages 3 and 4. We are looking for our first sailboat. We have never sailed before and wish to daysail / trailer. Want an easy to rig and launch used boat that will give us a positive learing experience, and then upgrade / upsize down the road. we would use a smaller boat more than a big one, and have been looking in the 16-20 foot range. What do you have available in a quality boat, and what models would you recommend? Thanks, great site.

Answer: Almost all small cabin boats built in the 80s will work on most lakes. You can have fun with just about all of them. Most of the boats built in the 80s have their ballast inside a stub keel and this is the most popular configuration for small boats on a trailer today. You can learn more about sailing from a boat that has extra ballast. Light boats are cheap to build and make money for the builder. Heavy boats are more expensive to build, cost the buyer more and provide a better learning experience. An experienced sailor can take a light performance boat and do some great sailing. They all learned how to sail on heavy stiff boats or they wouldn't have become experienced sailor. I think sailboats should be sold by the pound.

Almost all sailboats are a compromise. When it comes to launching and maintenance, a 16 is better than a 20. A 20 may be better than a 16 when it comes to its physical mass or displacement. It all depends on your passenger requirements, your age and where you plan on doing most of your sailing. The mast raising on smaller boats is very easy. When boats get to be 20 feet long, the mast is longer and is more difficult to raise. You will sail more if the parking lot business is quick and easy. We can say that all sailboats have a territorial character, categorized as performance or cruising and that we should not expect standing headroom and air conditioning in a 16 foot sailboat.

Message: Good aftenoon. 1. isn't thee somewhere i might peruse 'costs ' of up-grades, IE: bottom painting / life lines / etc. Also, the cost of a new trailer for said 16 / 11.


Answer: Com-Pac still sells most of the parts and pieces for your 16. They will answer your emails and phone calls concerning parts and prices. The best way to get a trailer (the Legacy trailer is the same trailer) is from a dealer. We pickup more than one trailer at a time when we pickup boats in Florida. That saves some of the cost of transportation from Florida. A trailer cost $1,575 at my yard. Sternrails and lifelines cost $345.87 plus shipping to your location and bottom paint cost $500 on my yard.

Message: Scott, we are having one major problem with t. When raising the sail, we can't get the boom to rise at the gooseneck as high as it can go just beneath the mast hinge. Even with the downhaul for the tack, we can't get raise it at all unless we go forward and push up the boom at the tack. This is just not possible when single-handing. Nothing is fouled above -- when we lift the boom, the gaff throat halyard works smoothly. We can't figure out what the problem is.

The other problem is that the reef hook and the extension from the slug at the top of the gaff throat where the halyard is attached both are repeatedly fouled from the two square brackets that frame the mast just above the hinge. We have had to repeatedly strike the sail to unfoul either or both hooked onto especially the starboard bracket.

Are these brackets really necessary? We keep speculating on what they are for, but we can't figure it out!

Any help would be appreciated.

Answer: The reason the boom doesn't move that last few inches is because you are lifting everything at that time including the boom. When you get to the point where the gooseneck stops moving, look at the boom on the gallows end and you will see that the boom has just lifted off the gallows. You can sail like that, but not very well. I use a barber haul system to get the gooseneck and the boom up where it should be. You lock the throat halyard in its cleat at highest point. I then pull sideways on the halyard from a spot in front of the cleat. This gives you the extra power you need to hoist the weight of the rigging and the boom those last few inches.

The wire brackets on both sides of the mast are not required. They were designed to guide the slugs through the joint between the stub and the mast. A normal cure without removing the brackets is to make sure you are moving directing into the wind when you raise your sail. At least during the first part of the maneuver where you are having a problem. The brackets are suppose to guide the slugs into the groove if you fall off after that time.

Message: I would like to put an 8 hp electric start outboard motor on my com-pac 19/II. Is the weight of about 94 lbs too much for the original motor mount which is in good condition? I have also been considering a 6 hp 4 stroke Nissan motor. What is your advice re: purchase of a motor. Love your website as I have found a lot of good information on it.

Answer: If you have the aluminum mount and not the stainless steel mount, I would upgrade the motor mount for the big Honda and most other 4 stroke outboards of that size. I think the aluminum mount has too much sideways play for that much weight. If you decide to change your motor mount, I would add another backing plate at that time. That will reduce the transom flexing with that much weight going up and down. I think a 5hp Honda really works well on your boat. It will start on the first or second pull every time. The 56 pound motor is really easy to put up and down on your mount and you wouldn't have to change anything on your 19 to accommodate that motor. The power is more than enough to take you to hull speed in most conditions. We use the 5hp on our 23s.

Message: is it possible to install a jib on a suncat,will it help up wind it even worth the effert

Answer: Most sailboats including your Sun Cat would benefit from more sail area if they are used in the light wind conditions. A Sun Cat will sail up wind really well above a specific (bottom end) wind speed. If you look at the Com-Pac Performance link on the left, you will see a Sun Cat sailing upwind in 10 to 15 mph. It really sailed well at that wind speed. All sailboats have a bottom end wind speed where they can't go upwind. I don't know the Sun Cat's bottom end wind speed, but I do know that it's 9 mph for a Com-Pac 23. If the wind falls below that speed, you don't have enough sail power to make a boat move to windward. The Sun Cat should do better than a 23 because of the displacement difference between the 2 boats. I think the Sun Cat's bottom wind speed may be around 5 mph. That's dark spots on the water and a Sun Cat should sail really well in the 6-9 range, dark spots everywhere.

If the water is flat (wind speed of 0-3 knots), you can use a loose jib to flag the wind and its direction. Then you need to move your boat and jib into the best position to start sailing on the wind. If you can squeeze the air between the jib and the main, the boat will start sailing (you will need a small slot between the two sails that will open up with boat speed, you hold the jib clew with your hand close to the main). In flat water, you can only sail on the wind (pointing). The relative wind is what makes it work in flat water and relative wind is not as great on other points of sail. You also can't use a small slot on a beam or broad reach to get started.

A jib, bowsprit and the running rigging for a Sun Cat will cost about $4,000 installed. This type of installation will work in heavy and light air. The installation is a winter project for us and needs to be scheduled. Using a small jib connected to the anchor roller or the bow will work as a light air test system for this summer. I would borrow a small jib from a friend and see if you can make it work. This may solve your light air problems. They say that lake sailors are the best sailors in the World because they do so much with so little.

Message: Thank you for the great advice you offer here. We appreciate it!

Saw your recommendation for Pettit Trinidad bottom paint, and it raised a couple of questions:

1. I have a two year old Suncat which has been trailer sailed, and has no bottom paint and no blisters. The boat will now be kept at a dock for the season. Will the Trinidad provide protection against osmosis, or do you still recommend epoxy before the antifouling?

2. Can the Trinidad also be used on the rudder and centerboard? If not, what type of coating do you recommend for those surfaces?

Thank you for your time.

Answer: We have been using an undercoater (epoxy) on new boats (boats without bottom paint) since 1989. All fiberglass boats that live in hot water areas like theo southern United States may develop blisters and need protection. Boats that live in cold water areas (like Canada) may not need as much protection because blisters are not normally associated with those cold water areas. I would check with a local marina in your area and see if your local boats have blisters. If your local marina repairs blisters, I would undercoat my boat. Trinidad or any paint (even house paint) will provide some protection against blisters. Undercoater and bottom paint together is an excellent blister protection plan for our area.

Trinidad is copper bottom paint. You can't use copper bottom paint on metal parts. It will make the metal parts into an anode and the metal will be destroyed through electrolysis. We use tin bottom paint for metal parts. That type of paint was designed for the inboard/outboard lower units in powerboats. It comes in a spray can and you should cover the centerboard and the centerboard housing. I would pickup or fold the rudder at a dock. It will be above the water level and shouldn't need anti-fouling.

Make sure you replace your zinc on the centerboard when you paint your bottom. I think they should be inspected and/or replaced every year. I wish we had an easy way to do this without picking up the boat. I have considered making a removable zinc that connects to the pennant tube in our older Sun Cats. Dropping a zinc over the side at the dock would solve our electrolysis problem in these boats. See the DIY Maintenance link on the left concerning Sun Cat leaks.

Message: Thinking of trying a mooring or a slip; have NO bottom paint, and wonder if you have a summary on what to put on for a Lake like Kerr, a river like the Pamlico, or even saltish water like Oriental. Thanks; is there any kind that is good for all of it?

Answer: We use Pettit Trinidad for all our applications. You need bottom paint for protection from blisters on most southern lakes (any paint will do) and a good antifouling paint for the coast. Of course, an antifouling paint will work for both situations. You scrub your bottom with a soft brush to renew your antifouling paint on the coast. Locations like Oriental will need more scrubbing than places up river from Oriental. An up river location like New Bern may only need 1 scrubbing per year.

Message: My rub rail is pretty nasty looking. I'm already planning a paint job, and would like to replace the rub rail at the same timWhere do you get the right stuff, and what kind of adhesive is used? Any other thoughts on the subject would be very helpful. Thanks.

Answer: Older Com-Pac 16s through 23s use the same rub rail. Com-Pac recently purchased the machine and the rights to make this type of rub rail from a local vendor. The best place to buy this rub rail is from the Factory because that will save shipping it twice.

The tape under the rub is installed when the caulking is still wet. Com-Pac wants to keep the rub rail clean and that's why they use tape under the rub rail. It is not required for subsequent installations. Pull the rub rail off the side of the boat with your hands. Warm weather helps the installation and removal process. Remove the end caps. Remove the screws that are holding the rub rail ends. The rub rail will fall off the boat. Start the installation by cleaning the rub rail joint. Remove the old tape and clean the joint. Start at one end and install a screw to hold the rub rail in place. I would try to put it in the old hole. Pull the rub rail in the opposite direction while keeping it on top of the deck. The rub rail needs to be installed as tight as possible between the two ends. This prevents too much sag when the weather is hot and also saves material. Put a screw in the other end. After the ends are secured, put the rub rail on the hull to deck joint by hand or with a rubber mallet and replace the end caps. The job is finished and the boat looks much better. No adhesive is required or needed for installation.

With the rub rail off, it's a good time to repair the hull to deck joint if it shows some voids. If you see spots between the glass that needs caulking, add some 3M5200 to those spots. Removing the screws or the rivets is not a good idea. Clean and groove the exterior joint for the 3M5200. It takes several days for the caulking to get hard. Cover the caulking with white duct tape if you want to proceed with your rub rail installation at that time.

Message: I understand from the Compac owners website that there is a leaking problem with some older Suncats. What causes this and what is the cure?

Answer: Not having a dealer that repairs leaks is the big problem. Some boats go from the Factory to the buyer's home without stopping at a dealer's yard. These buyers are located in an area where we don't have a dealer and the leaks were not identified and repaired when the boat was new. I have helped lots of Sun Cat owners with leak problems and they were all successful. The owners fixed most of the leaks with a little email help from me.

Places to check for leaks: Ports, centerboard pennant hole, gas hatch, mast entry and the centerboard housing. The centerboard housing screws can corrode if the boat stays in the water and the centerboard is not protec om electrolysis.

The most common leak for all Sun Cats is at the seat hatch. The gutter around the seat is shallow on its aft edge. The boat can be on its trailer and in a bad position where water will puddle in that area. The angle of the boat's deck when it is on a trailer is very important. If it is in a bad position, water will drain into the aft bilge during a rainstorm and can't be seen. The water in the aft bilge will not move to the forward bilge where it can be seen until the boat is moved on it's trailer or the boat is launched.

Message: Hi Keith,

First, congratulations on the nice piece on the CP 16 trawler in Small Craft Advisor.

We are starting our second season on the Picnic Cat we got from you last year, and we are having a great time sailing Cape Cod Bay -what a fabulous boat.

But perhaps you could help me with one problem I am having.

I find a small amount of water forward of the structural bulkhead under the forward hatch. I thought it was only rainwater that came down the open mast groove, and indeed that may be happening. But I dried it all out Saturday, went sailing Sunday and found it again. No rain.

Since the PC is never stern higher than the bow, indeed the opposite on launch and retrieval, and there is not much water, I am thinking that the water most come in forward of the centerboard trunk. The only hole through the hull that might be responsible is the bow eye.

Can I back those nuts off and rebed the bow eye without fear of losing the backing plate in a difficult -to-impossible to get-to spot?

Also, the grey paint has worn off where the puddle has been sitting showing pink(?) fiberglass mat. What do I paint that with (when dry)?

And lastly, I fear that I have created the problem as when fully winched-in the bow hangs on the bow eye. There is a padded bunk beneath it, and a roller aft of that but they only come into play as the boat winches onto the trailer.

Should I be moving the winch to a different position so that the bow actually has some weight on that forward pad?

Thanks for being such a resource to all us Com-Pac sailors!

Answer: I think Small Craft Advisor did a super job on their Trawler layout. I was pleased with what they published.

Picnic Cats have a built in low spot in the forward part of the hull. Another way to say the same thing is that we have a dam between the bow and where you see the water. Water that collects in this area is hard to remove. The water will move around as the boat starts and stops while it is on the road. We keep seeing water from time to time and wonder where it came from. The way to remove all the water from the bow is to tip the bow up high, maybe 3 or 4 feet by putting a long 2X6 under the trailer hitch. All the water in the hull will drain to the rear and can be removed. Rainwater from the mast area should have caused your leak.

Use a good quality enamel paint from the hardware store to touch-up your interior gray paint. Making it match is the hard part.

You have to prove that a boat leaks at a certain point before you attempt to repair a leak at that point. It is doubtful that the trailer eye leaks. It is put together with lots of 3M5200. If you can prove that it leaks (water hose with a dry boat on the inside), we can talk about a repair at that fitting.

The trailer bow roller belongs on top of the boat's trailer eye. This position prevents the bow of the boat from bouncing up and down as you trailer down the road. The pull of the winch locks the bow of the boat to the roller. The pad on the trailer frame is designed to prevent the hull from hitting the trailer on launch and retrieval. It is not designed to support the hull while the boat is on the trailer.

Message: Would a 4hp motor be too much for a C-16? Also, any thoughts on how to charge the battery on a boat kept stored on trailer at the lake? No elec. available.If solar, who makes a good panel, waterproof, etc? Thanks.

Message: Should have put this into my previous message, sorry. My 16 has motor mount that lifts. Do I use a short shaft, or long shaft motor. Read somewhere that it takes a short shaft. Thanks.

Answer: A 4hp, 2 stroke will work fine. A 4hp, 4 stroke may be a little heavy. We use the flexible solar panels sold by West Marine. The part number is 8632945. The Com-Pac 16 was designed to use a short shaft motor.

Message: I have a 1987 CP23/2 with the brown cove stripe.It is getting a little faded. Polishing helps for a little while,but half way through the summer it is faded again. I was wondering if the paint was still available, if not is there a different brand that would be a good match? I really like the look of the brown, besides I don't want to change my sail cover,tiller cover and the sunband on my jib and genoa which are also brown. Thank you for your help.

Answer: The brown cove stripe on your boat is gel-coat. That's why is fades as fast as it does. We use a 2-part AWLGRIP paint to fix the problem. The paint can be applied with a roller and it can be buffed to a smooth super shine after it gets hard. The paint color is Sable Brown and the part number is G6001.

Message: Hi. Saw the reconditioned 16 on the Web-Site, and fell in love. Is that topside paint over the entire hull, or matching bottom paint? How the heck does a guy on a budget get the boat off the trailer to paint below the waterline? What paint did you use, two part, or one part? Are the stripes painted or tape? Since I just joined this weekend, that's probably enough bothering you. Thanks

Answer: We normally don't paint decks. The decks are repaired and then reconditioned with compound and wax. The hulls are painted with AWLCRAFT, a 2-part paint. Paint is much better than gel-coat for a long lasting finish. We paint 16s inside our shop. A floor jack picks the boat off the trailer. We put wood blocks under the keel and then move the blocks back and forth until we can remove the trailer. The boat is held in an upright position with lines tied to cleats on the shop walls. All of our stripes are tape. We use a crane to apply anti-fouling paint outside the shop. We don't find too many 16s without anti-fouling paint these days. We think the best anti-fouling paint for an old boat that's going to stay on its trailer is a new Pettit paint called Vivid. You can get this paint with a white color and that makes the boat look like it doesn't have bottom paint. Good questions.

Message: Are catbird seats available to order for my Com Pac 19/3? If so, how much are they and what is the order time? I saw the pics of Hildegard ...beautiful job! What does a refurbish similar to this cost?

Many thanks

Answer: The catbird seats cost $636.30 plus shipping. If the boat was on the yard, the installation labor would be about $300.00. The installation also requires new life lines at $200.00. The catbird stern pulpit is a Com-Pac 23D pulpit. The Factory needs about 4 weeks of lead time to build this special purpose pulpit.

The basic restoration cost of a Com-Pac 19 is about $6,450. The waiting period for a restoration is 1 year.

Message: Hello

Do you have any of your "trawl boat" conversions?

Answer: I have the plug on the yard, but it's not for sale. We hope to build some trawlers this winter.

Message: I am interested in locating a Picnic Cat, used preferred but might have to go to new. Anything available? Price? Trailer? Motor? Thanks.

Answer: I'm sorry, we don't have a used Picnic Cat. A new boat, including a sailcover cost $8696. A trailer cost $985.50 and a 2hp Honda cost $900.

Message: In preparing the Suncat to get back in the water, I noticed that I am missing one of the plastic slides that attaches to the sail and slides up the mast. Do you know where I can get several new ones? Are they specific to the Suncat, so that I would need to ask the folks at Hutchins, or are they generic? There is a Hutchins dealer near here, but they were certainly not knowledgable about the the boats a year ago. That's why I went all the way to N. Carolina to buy from you. Also, is there an add-on kit for lazy jacks recommended for the Suncat, or is the boat too small to make that worthwhile? On a windy, choppy day, getting the sail down quickly and into the the boat singlehanded can be a little tricky. Thanks.

Answer: The sail slides are generic. The slide that fits the Sun Cat are called sail slugs at West Marine and the part number is 2690840. You will also need a plastic shackle to install the new slug. I think the correct shackle part number is 2690949. The new slugs will look different, but they will fit the groove in the mast and the front to back length should be the same or almost the same.

We have installed a lazy jacks on a Sun Cat and it worked well. The system is a Harken product from West Marine, part number 336461. The pre-swaged wires had to be cut and re-swaged because they were too long for our Sun Cat. We used our inexpensive life line swaging tool for that job that's also available from West Marine. We plan on installing a system on a Horizon Cat soon. I think we can install lazy jacks on that boat without any modifications.

Message: Hello, I enjoy you site very much and you've inspired me to consider converting my 1976 Com-pac 16 to a catboat. You mentioned that you carry the hardware needed, could you give me an idea of the cost? I'm trying to compare the upgrade to the cost of a new mainail and standing rigging. Thanks in advance.

Answer: Thank you for the kind words. The cost of a conversion is going to be more money. The modification cost about $1,500 for the basic parts. You use your existing mast and standing rigging with our modification. We also haven't developed a good boom gallows that can be owner installed. We do some welding after we fit the gallows to the boat. The current teak and stainless gallows is an extra $500. We would like to develop a stainless gallows that could be owner installed and cost less. Itiitho's on our list of things to do.

Message: The Sock for the mast stub looks like it will work much better than the plug since I have wiring for Nav lights, etc.

What is the cost for the Sock that goes on the Mast Stub and the one that goes on the end of the gaff?

Available in Sunbrella color: Toast?

All my other canvas is Toast.


Answer: The cost of the mast sock is $95 and the gaff sock is $45. They come in Sunbrella colors including Toast. It takes about 3 weeks to make the socks and the shipping is extra.

Answer to Message below continued: The seat back filler option for the Sun Cat is available for $397.00.

Message: On your ad for a Sun Cat you listed "The inside options include seat backs with the ability to make a filler for wall to wall sleeping" Could you please send more information about this and a Bimini?

Thank you.

Answer: The seat back and filler option was designed for new boats. We are currently asking Com-Pac if this option is available for any Sun Cat. I don't know how they would match the cushion cloth for a used boat. They may come up with a solution if they can solve the cloth problem. The bimini comes in a choice of colors and moves forward and back on an included track. In the stowed position, the bimini rest against the boom gallows below the boom and is out of the way. It comes with a boot and can be shipped in 2 parts (UPS). The cost of a Sun Cat bimini is $562 plus shipping.

Message: Hi,

I read a few places, most recently in a review of the Picnic Cat for a small craft magazine, that some people optimize their boats by replacing he factory rudder with a foil rudder ( Do you he any insights in the value of these? As always, I enjpy your site. ( Semper Fi)

Answer: All of my customers that own a foiled rudder like their rudders. Some have complained about the rudder's construction, but most of them seem satisfied with the Company's warranty program.

As a technical person, I like the original flat aluminum rudder best. The lift created by a rudder is caused by the difference in pressure between the sides. The rudders on all sailboats are the same shape on the both sides. This means that a rudder cannot create lift like an aircraft's wing. Lift from a rudder is created when the boat slips sideways sailing on the wind (keels work the same because all sails create sideslip). The reason large rudders are shaped like an airfoil is to reduce drag. The rudders on large sailboats have to be thick enough to be strong. I think if we compared the drag generated by the flat aluminum rudder and a foiled rudder on a Picnic Cat, the flat aluminum rudder would have less drag. (Semper Fi)

Message: Hello Keith,

On my 89 model CP23, I noticed the gaskets on the ports are very hard and brittle and that there is evidence of some leaks. How hard is it to replace these and do you stock them?


Answer: Gaskets for the 89 ports are no longer available. The old port gaskets work longer than most people think. Look at the seal line between the moveable part of the port and the gasket. There should be a line on the gasket that makes contact 360 degrees around the gasket. The ports can be adjusted at the top hinges to make this happen. Most bronze ports that we see do not make contact at the top and they will leak after a hard rain. Adjustment should fix the problem.

Message: I absolutely love your site for all your sailboat information. It is very informative and really helps prospective buyers.

I have a couple of questions. Com-pac doesn't advertise any positive floatation in the Suncat or new Legacy. Sailboats like Monygomery 15, Catalina 18, Sanibel 18, Potter 15 & 19 do have it. Please give your views on this. The new Legacy has a low slung transom. Your views on safety as far as following seas and being pooped.


Answer: Thanks for the kind words.

Com-Pac also has floatation. They had foam in their boats back in the 70s when no one else did. Com-Pac Yachts are NMMA (National Marine Manufactures Association) certified. That's like the UL (Underwriters Laboratories) certification on electrical appliances. Foam floatation is part of that certification. Check out my "What's New" link on the left.

Com-Pac doesn't advertise as much as some builders. They think their customers are their best advertising tool.

The time it takes to get a trailer sailboat ready to launch is very important. You use the easy access transom in the parking lot every time you use your boat. Com-Pac really works at making launching easy. You will use your boat more if launching is fast and easy.

The low transom on some of our Com-Pac Yachts might be problem if you were sailing around the World. We don't recommend sailing around the World in a Com-Pac Yacht. Following seas on lakes and coastal waters hasn’t been a problem. The hull has lots of buoyancy and moves up and down with the waves. The perceived transom problem isn't a problem after you sail the boat.

Message: Thanks for your reply regarding the trailability of the CP16&19.You mentioned the 19 would trailer better with a longer trailer.Are you talking about the entire trailer or a longer bed from the wheels back to give it a longer keel guide and shoe for the keel to sit on?The CP16 on your web site has the exact color scheme I thought of for restoring a boat. Can you tell me what brand and color you used in restoring the boat's topsides and waterline? Thanks for your reply.

Answer: I was talking about the 19 trailer being too short overall. The tow vehicle gets wet on most ramps with the stock trailer. A longer trailer will float the boat off without any problems. A 23 trailer can launch a 19 without the vehicle or my feet getting wet.

WeW use AWLCRAFT paint on our hulls. We try to avoid painting the decks because of the time and money it takes to paint a deck. Dirt in the air falls on horizontal surfaces when you spray paint decks. Vertical surfaces like hulls avoid that problem. Gel-coat on the decks can be restored in most cases. We do gel-coat repair and then compound and wax. If a deck is really bad, painting may be the only option.

AWLCRAFT paint is made for spraying by a professional. AWLGRIP paint can be sprayed or applied with a roller by almost anyone. In both cases, the paint needs to be compounded after it gets hard. I have seen some good results using AWLGRIP with a roller. The secret to both processes is the buffer and the person doing the compound work after the paint gets hard.

The color of our green hulls are Forest Green and the decks are the originals off white gel-coat in most cases.

Message: Good afternoon. I currently own a Marshall Sanderling catboat that I sail on Currituck Sound, and am considering moving to an easier-to-trailer model like the Com Pac Elipse, 19, or the new Legacy. Do you take other boats in trade, and if so, how do you determine the trade in value? also, do you service what you sell? Thanks!

Answer: We do take sailboats in trade on sailboats. We can't take a sailboat in trade that cost more than a sailboat that's being purchased. We determine the trade-in value of sailboats by identifying a market value "asking price" less 10%. The value of used sailboats varies greatly by location and condition. If the value of a trade-in is greater than the new boat, we recommend a broker sale for the old boat.

I think we may be the last dealer in the World that services what we sell. We have lots of experience.

Message: Thank you for your answer to my fire extinguisher question. However, in your answer you used a term I've not heard before. You mentioned you were getting ready to put a "Summer Cabin" option on a Sun Cat. Could you please clarify what that is? Do you have any photos?

Answer: Your welcome. The summer cabin that we are building is a canvas cover for the cockpit. It's going to look like a cockpit awning with sides. The Sun Cat owner that ordered the summer cabin is going to sleep in the cockpit when anchored. We hope to have his summer cabin built by the end of this month and we will publish pictures when it's finished.

Message: would it help if i insalled a vang on my suncat

Answer: I don't think so. The primary purpose of a vang is to flatten your sail while sailing downwind. If you are sailing downwind and you want maximum sail-area perpendicular to the wind, a vang might help. The mainsheet on the Sun Cat uses mid-boom sheeting and it is almost as good as a vang installation going downwind.

Message: I have owned sailboats from a Sea Sprite 23 to a Cape Dory Typhoon. I have been out of sailing for several years restoring wooden motorboats.I am now back in the market looking for a sailboat.I was looking for another Typhoon.I have become interested in the Com-Pac boats.When I saw your website it convinced me to look further. Your website is very good and your interest in your boats and customers is outstanding.The two boats that interest me are the CP16 and 19.I belong to a sailing club that does not allow a boat less than 22' to have a slip so I will have to trailer it. I can use a land parking place so I can leave the boat rigged.I like the roomer 19 but I do not know how hard it is to trailer.Is the 16'a lot easier to trailer than the 19'? What year did they start putting centerboards in the keel of the 16' and 19'? I understand it points better.Thanks for your reply.

Answer: Thanks for your kind words. I owned a Cape Dory 27 for 5 years and I think people that like Cape Dory boats like Com-Pac boats. We are traditional boat people.

Launching a 19 would be easy if you had it on a longer trailer and the mast was already in an upright position. The 19s were a little tall on the trailer and you needed a ladder to gain access to the cockpit in the parking lot. Both problems were solved when they designed the Eclipse. I think the 19 would work for you if you had a longer trailer. Pulling a 2000-pound boat down the road was never a problem.

The older Com-Pac 16s has the same room on the inside as the Cape Dory Typhoon. The new Legacy has more room on the inside. Both boats are great daysailors and they launch from powerboat ramps.

Being a Com-Pac Dealer, I normally pick my boat for its intended purpose. If I planned on daysailing from a trailer, I would select a 16 (Legacy). If I planned on spending a week at some location that I had accessed with an automobile and trailer, I would select a 19 (Eclipse or Sun Cat). Boats that live in the water follow the same general rule. An overnight works well using a Com-Pac 23 (Horizon Cat). If I planned on staying a week at some remote location (like the outer banks), the standing headroom under the bimini and in the cabin makes the Com-Pac 25 the perfect boat. I know that most people can't own a boat for every purpose, but you can pick the boat that best suits your current needs. Changing the boat when you needs change is pretty easy.

I think Com-Pac only made a few 19s with centerboards. I never sold one. The Mark III 16 had a centerboard and it did point higher (about 5 degrees) in light wind. You could normally gain back the lost time with a Mark I or II on a beam reach and downwind because they have less drag.

Message: do you have a mast tender to fit a compac sixteen and will it make it easy for a handy cap person to raise.

I have had two sixteens and the only problem with keeping them on the trailer is putting the boom and sail on each time also what is the cost thanks

Answer: I think we have a new system that will be less expensive than the Mast Tender system. The new system is the Boom Tender system that's standard equipment on the new Legacy. I haven't modified an older 16 yet, but I plan on doing so soon. North Carolina sailors developed a mast and boom stand about 25 years ago. The mast base stays in the tabernacle and the top of mast lays in the mast stand at the stern of the boat. The mast sticks out about 4 feet beyond a raised rudder blade. The angle ost prevents any contact wagth a following automobile on the road and you can hang a red flag on the mast if desired. I think this angle between the tabernacle and the stand will provide the room necessary to fold the boom on the mast with the sail inside a sailcover and still connected to the mast and the boom. An older Mark I Com-Pac 16 with a boltrope main wouldn't work, but the newer boats with slugs should work well. I will document the Boom Tender modification on the Web when we do our first boat. Details for making a NC mast stand for older 16 will be published in our DIY section at the same time. Installing the Boom Tender modification will be easy and can be owner installed.

Message: Ok, I'm convinced. She is the one. Could you quote a price F.O.B your facility? what would be earliest delivery date?. What would be a shipping cost to Virginia? and lastly, I'm curious to know if a jib roller furler could be installed.

By the way, your website is awsom!

Answer: Thanks for the nice comments.

A new Lagacy cost $12,365.50 at our location in North Carolina. The current build time is about 4 weeks with your choice of boot stripe and canvas colors. The price above includes a sailcover and a trailer. A ladder cost $166.50 and the cockpit padded backrest lines cost an additional $327.60. We like those options for the Legacy. The boat including all the options has a 10% discount off the retail price. The transportation from Florida to Nor Carolina is $400 and that's also included the price above.

As a Dealer preparation function, we varnish the tiller and inspect the boat and trailer before customer pickup. We also provide a short course on basic trailer and mast raising techniques at pickup time.

We have a new boat in stock with the options listed above. We can offer free transportation to Virginia on that boat. The canvas and boot stripe are dark blue. An additional transportation cost from North Carolina to Virginia would be around $200 on a boat ordered from the factory.

We don't recommend jib furling on the Legacy if the boat is going to be launched from a trailer on a routine basis. If the boat is going to be in the water at a slip, jib furling is recommended and can be installed by us. Thanks.

Message: Not a question, but a few thoughts. I recently worked the Com-Pac display at the Grand Rapids, Michigan show and got my first look at the Legacy. She's pretty (which really doesn't need to be said about CP's), but no one has sailed her yet (water gets very hard around here in Feb), so everything is just speculation so far. It appears to me that the Sun Cat may be the more efficient weekender for two people. She appears better laid out, but time will tell. However, my reason for writing is that it seems the small sailboat folks are overlooking the CP23, at least as far as new one's go. Used boats are still demanding a respectable price, and just try finding a used diesel. I know for a new one she's a bit pricey, and add the diesel you're looking at around 44K, but after two years of ownership, I think I can now voice my opinion on the boat. Simply put, I am one proud & happy camper... er, sailor (although, we do spend most weekends aboard). She's simple to sail, even single handed, and as I reach my mid-fifties, ease of process becomes more of an issue. She'll stand up to blow like you wouldn't believe. I've sailed her fully canvased (150% genoa)in 25 knots steady, and she behaved quite nicely. I won't say she wasn't flying too much cloth, but my son was handling the jib sheet, so it wasn't like I was the one getting beat up! We held a steady 5.7 knots, and that will get your attention in a 23 foot boat. We were on a small lake that connects to Lake Michigan, so wave height wasn't much of a problem; we simply blasted right through them. And NO, you do not want to be on a Great Lake in 25 knots steady if there's any fetch at all. I think you could do it, and I'm almost sure you'd be safe, but face it, at 3,200 pounds the 5 and 6 foot saw-tooth waves that form on the Lakes are going to Scare you plenty. So, I guess I do have a question afterall, when it starts blowing on the Big Blue, and the waves get up to 20 feet, how does the CP23 perform? We sometimes get 15 footers on the Great Lakes, with the occasional 20-25 footer, but that kind of weather sinks 1,000 foot freighters (rolls 'em, breaks 'em in half, or drives the bow under). Us kids on the Lakes just can't imagine sailing on big rollers like you folks on the Ocean enjoy. Fair winds.

Answer: Well said. I agree with your observations.

No one sails a 23 foot boat in 20 foot seas and lives. My son sailed a 23 foot Hunter from the Bahamas to the mainland last year in 12 foot seas. He really didn't sail his boat in those seas because he wasn't in control of his vessel. He washed up on the beach 70 miles north of his intended destination and had the wind and the Gulf Stream been moving in a different direction, he could have ended up in Europe or dead. Com-Pac Yachts are great coastal sailboats, but they are not designed or built as ocean going vessels. We have sailed a 23 foot Com-Pac in 50 knots of wind with 2 foot seas on a coastal river. The 23 likes the wind. You need a big boat for big seas.